Committee Office, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London
Committee Contact: Dr Hannah Weston 020 7219 0851
Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges-Palmer, 020 7219 0724
Internet site: www.parliament.uk/indcom
PN 28, Session 2005-06
Attn: News Desks: Political, Foreign, Diplomatic Correspondents
29 March 2006
- PRESS NOTICE -
HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE TO NATURAL DISASTERS
Natural disasters during 2005 focused public attention
on the policies and practices of humanitarian assistance. The IDC
has decided to conduct an inquiry into Humanitarian response to
natural disasters. The focus is specifically on natural disasters
(both slow and rapid onset), although we recognize that there is
not always a clear distinction between natural disasters and complex
emergencies. The inquiry will address the following issues:
Initial disaster response and the international humanitarian
" How do INGOs, national NGOs, the media, parliamentarians
and the public influence DFID's decision-making and responses to
" Are lessons drawn from evaluations applied during later responses?
What impact has the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) initiative
had on practices?
" How useful have recent reviews of the capacity, effectiveness
and flexibility of the international humanitarian system been?
" Are proposals (including those from HMG) for the reform of
the international humanitarian system realistic and comprehensive?
Are they likely to affect the responsiveness of the public and government
to future humanitarian funding appeals?
" What should be the role of the military and civil defence
actors in humanitarian responses?
" What local consultation and accountability processes does
DFID engage in when providing humanitarian aid?
Vulnerability and disaster preparedness
" How do DFID and other development actors assess the vulnerabilities
of the recipients of development assistance to natural disasters?
" How do donors ensure that humanitarian assistance is delivered
equitably (in terms of gender, ethnicity, caste etc.), and does
not exacerbate existing inequalities?
" How can donors deliver humanitarian assistance in ways which
support the disaster response capacity of recipient country governments?
" Do humanitarian responses to natural disasters affect the
ability of people to cope with future disasters?
" Has an appropriate balance been found between investment
in disaster preparedness and disaster response?
" Have early warning mechanisms effectively informed decisions
Development and humanitarian assistance
" How effectively do DFID and other development actors analyse
the risks to their development programmes posed by natural disasters?
" Is DFID taking account of the key threats to their humanitarian
programmes, including HIV/AIDS, avian flu and climate change?
" Can the interaction between development work and humanitarian
assistance be improved?
" How appropriate is the balance between donor spending on
immediate relief work and longer term reconstruction and development?
How successfully are transitions between relief, reconstruction
and development managed?
The Committee will focus on the role of DFID and the UK Government,
but the inquiry will also examine the roles played by NGOs, the
Red Cross Movement, the United Nations, the European Union, other
multilateral donors and the governments of disaster affected countries.
The inquiry is not intended to replicate the numerous evaluations
of specific disasters which have been produced recently. It will
however, review how the recommendations which the IDC has made in
previous inquiries have been received and applied.
Submission of written evidence
Organisations and individuals with relevant experience and expertise
- especially from developing countries - are invited to submit written
evidence addressing (any of) the themes listed above. The
Committee encourages submissions which draw on evidence and experience
of specific natural disasters, including disasters which have not
attracted a high international media profile. Evidence should reach
the Clerk of the Committee by Wednesday 10 May 2006.
Evidence submitted should:
- if possible, be provided electronically in MS Word or Rich Text
format, either by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
or on a disk. If submitted by e-mail or e-mail attachment, a letter
should also be sent validating the e-mail;
- the letterhead should contain your full postal address and contact
- any memorandum of more than six pages should begin with a one
- have numbered paragraphs;
- and avoid the use of colour or expensive-to-print material;
- further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at
Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of
a submission, but may be referred to within a memorandum, in which
case a hard copy of the published work should be included. Submissions
can be sent via email@example.com
or, by post, to International Development Committee, 7 Millbank,
London, SW1P 3JA. Please bear in mind that Committees are not able
to investigate individual cases.
Once submitted, evidence is the property of the
Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses
to make public the written evidence it receives, either by printing
the written evidence alongside the oral evidence or by making the
evidence available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there
is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight
it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure;
the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to
publish or further disclose the evidence.
It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes,
if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact
details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that
there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be
required to communicate information to third parties on request,
in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information
Detailed enquiries to Hannah Weston, Second Clerk on 020 7219
0851 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The membership of the Committee is as follows: Malcolm Bruce
MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Barrett MP (Lib Dem), John Battle MP
(Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden
MP (Lab), Mr Quentin Davies MP (Con), Mr Jeremy Hunt MP (Con), Ann
McKechin MP (Lab), Joan Ruddock MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh (Lab).
Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges-Palmer, 020 7219 0718 or email@example.com
Committee website: www.parliament.uk/indcom
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