IFRC meeting on post-disaster shelter issues

An invitation to TN readers that may find themselves in Geneva next Wednesday, July 20 – I’ll be co-facilitating an expert group meeting together with Geoffrey Payne on “addressing regulatory barriers to meeting the emergency and transitional shelter needs of people affected by disasters” and would welcome the participation of those of you have had occasion to work on and ponder these issues.

The aim of the meeting is to help the Disaster Law Programme at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to peer review both its current understandings of obstacles to post-disaster shelter and of practices proven to be effective in overcoming them in order to develop a set of recommendations for consideration at the 31st International Conference of the IFRC next November.

I’ve added a copy of the meeting agenda under the ‘resources’ menu of this blog, but should note that the topic is fairly rarefied and IFRC is aiming for expert input (for those of you with a more general interest in learning more about this topic, the proceedings as well as the results of an earlier round of key informant interviews should be made available soon). The idea is to focus on shelter issues arising in the first three to six months after a disaster in countries that have not yet fully taken disaster risk reduction practices fully on board in their national legislation. In the words of one IFRC interlocutor:

…in recognition that many Governments will not have such mechanisms in place, or that these may still be inadequate, we are focussing on the implications of the lack of such procedures and the resulting obstacles i.e. what are the range of regulatory barriers that we are aware of from experience, and what creative solutions have been identified to overcome these barriers.

Accordingly, the organizers seek the attendance of  “individuals and institutions who have been actively involved in issues related to land and property rights and access, building codes and compliance, regulatory procedures and innovative interim solutions.” Participants are required to cover their own costs, although lunch will be provided. If you have experience with the issues at hand and are interested please contact Michele Young at michele.young@ifrc.org as soon as possible, and by 15th July at the latest.

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