Thinking of a Career in Emergency Management?
- BY Nicole Pelette
The Republic of Indonesia is the fourth largest country by population, and the seventh largest economy in terms of gross domestic product based on purchasing power parity. Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic state, consisting of more than 17,500 islands perched precariously on the ‘ring of fire’. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and consequent tsunamis remain a constant threat. Regardless of how fast Indonesia progresses towards its sustainable development goals (SDGs), climate-related and other disasters will continue to pose risks to its people, infrastructure and the economy.
Regular and frequent natural disasters translate to significant loss of life, disrupted productivity and economic losses, affecting government’s resources, infrastructure and livelihoods. Global warming will increase the frequency and intensity of hydrometeorological disasters. In the coming decades Indonesia will experience rising sea levels, floods and extended drought conditions, which will disproportionately affect the rural and coastline poor communities and other vulnerable populations.
Natural disasters pose a threat to the fulfilment of dignified basic human rights. They increase direct and indirect health risks, disrupt continuous education of school-age children resulting in immediate impacts. High risk exposure can have lifelong adverse outcomes terms of poverty and livelihood opportunities. Disasters disproportionately affect already vulnerable groups including the poor, children, elderly, persons with disabilities, women at risk, migrant workers and indigenous peoples.
The Government of Indonesia plans to establish an adaptive social protection system as a priority within its new 5-year development. The Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) already has emergency cash assistance programmes (ie. Jaminan Hidup or ‘Jadup’ – a multi-purpose emergency cash assistance for ‘affected’ people within a period of between 1 (one) to 3 (three) months) that aim to buffer the shocks of natural disasters. In parallel, there are various other contributory and non-contributory social assistance schemes that are in place. The challenge is to link up these various schemes and establish a mechanism that can provide ‘top-ups’ to people in the event of an emergency.
UNICEF, in partnership with UNDP and WFP, are supporting the Government of Indonesia to ensure that existing social protection systems are more responsive to climate-related and other disasters. This Joint Programme aims to transform Indonesia’s existing social protection payments into an Adaptive Social Protection (ASP) scheme. UNICEF is working with the Government to gather sufficient evidence of the potential to reduce the impact of and enhance resilience to climate-related and other disasters on vulnerable individuals and communities by providing faster, more predictable, effective and accountable cash-based assistance before and/or after a disaster.
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