AMARC / Pakistan Press Foundation
Islamabad: The international assessment mission organized by the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)and the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) called on the Government ofPakistan to allow the establishment of at least 30 non-commercial floodrelief radio stations through community based organisations in the severelyaffected districts.
These were the key recommendations of an international assessment missioncarried out between 30 September and 10 October 2010. The mission visitedflood hit communities in Thatta District (Sindh), Muzaffargarh District(Punjab), and Charsadda/Nowshera (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa). The mission was supported by BHN Foundation, Radio FMYY and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Theinternational mission team included experts from UK, Japan and Indonesia.
The principle observations and findings of the mission were that whileexisting FM local radios are playing an important role in flood response,there are gaps in provision of relevant local information in some of theseverely and moderately affected communities which are unlikely to be meton a commercial basis. In the light of the findings the internationalassessment mission recommended the establishment of flood relief radiostations in locations not served by existing local FM radio services.
In addition the mission recommended that support be provided to existinglocal FM radios to continue their vital work of providing information andvoice for flood affected communities. That could be at a community levelto capture the voices and experiences of flood hit communities and todevelop community correspondents among the affected communities. Themission also recommended work at provincial level with media, NGO andgovernmental stakeholders to raise awareness of the role of communitymedia in disaster response and to engage in policy dialogue.
The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) is workingwith Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) to develop plan of action to supportthe humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction effort with afocus on voice and access to information at community level for people in the affected communities, especially the most vulnerable and marginalised.
The international assessment mission was framed by growing internationalexperience of community radio in humanitarian communications, disasterresponse and reconstruction. Community radio stations under the ownership,control and management of local communities and operated on anon-commercial basis have proven to be of particular importance instrengthening the voices and access to information of disaster affectedcommunities. Community radios have played a key role in disaster responsein Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand Haiti and many other countries.
Devastating floods in Pakistan have left over two thousand people dead andmore than a million homes destroyed since the flooding began in July 2010.The United Nations estimates that more than 20 million people have beenaffected by the flooding, and have described it as one of the worst humanitarian disasters in recent human history.
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)
AMARC President / Leader of Pakistan Floods Mission
Tel (local): 0302 2326709 (until 9 October 2010)
Tel (international): +44 7801 945037 / +44 114 2201426
AMARC Regional Coordinator / Pakistan Floods Mission International Focal
Tel (AMARC Regional Office, Kathmandu) +977 5554811
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)
Owais Aslam Ali
Shahrah Kamal Ataturk
Tel: +92 21 3263-3215
Fax: +92 21 3221-7069
Source: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)