Natural and man-made disasters have been increasing dramatically over the past few decades, with climate change contributing to even more extreme or unpredictable weather. Degradation and loss of ecosystems intensify the hazards that, combined with the high vulnerability of poor communities, lead to increased disaster risks.
It is well established that the poorest people suffer disproportionately: lives, assets, products and crops are lost. Disasters wipe out hard-won reductions in poverty, and communities are caught in a vicious circle where poverty creates vulnerability and disasters increase poverty.
Building resilience in Indonesia
CARE build resilience into all of its activities. For example, its women entrepreneurship programs include training on preparedness should disaster strike and how to mitigate disaster risk.
CARE works closely with communities of farmers and fisherman to increase their crop and livestock yields through activities such as planting new seed varieties, animal husbandry, home gardening and irrigation, and provides education on how to preserve the environment for future generations.
CARE also leads the Partners for Resilience (PfR) in Indonesia, an alliance of five humanitarian, development, and environmental organizations working together to strengthen community resilience. PfR Indonesia is funded by the Dutch government, and is part of a global alliance of organisations working across ten countries in Asia, Africa and Central America.
PfR advocates for Integrated Risk Management (IRM) as a viable approach to address effects of climate change, strengthen ecosystem management/restoration and promote risk-proof investments and policy from the private, public sectors and multi-lateral corporations. Integrated Risk Management not only helps avert future disasters, but also unlocks growth and prosperity.
PfR supports better decision making, knowledge sharing, and policy dialogues in the context of increasing risks, to which climate change and ecosystem degradation are key contributing factors. PfR supports provision of essential services to communities for resilience against shocks from climate change, ecosystem degradation and malpractices in investments.
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)
Having access to basic clean water and a decent toilet saves lives, reduces stunting in children, and ensures a safe food supply. But CARE’s work on water isn’t just about digging wells or building toilets. We work closely with women and schools to lead their communities in promoting critical practices like hand washing. We work with government to make sure there is long-term political commitment, good policies and allocated resources for lasting improvements. And we link with wider efforts to ensure integration with nutrition, education and adaptation to climatic shocks and disasters.
CARE places emphasis on women in all of our water work. That’s because impoverished women are disproportionately excluded from decisions regarding water’s allocation and management. CARE promotes equal decision-making power for women by strengthening women’s voices to ensure they are heard in discussions on water and sanitation at the local and national levels. Access to safe water results in women spending less time caring for family members who would otherwise fall sick due to unsafe water. Also, improved sanitation can keep a girl in school by making facilities available to her when she reaches puberty.