AHA provides multi-sectoral support in relief and recovery to vulnerable populations throughout Africa; predominantly working with victims of forgotten and protracted crisis. In such a context, communities – in particular women and girls – face numerous challenges to securing a protective environment.
Our work in relief and recovery addresses such challenges, providing emergency assistance and sustainable development to affected populations. AHA programs are broad and varied in order to respond directly to people’s individual and multifaceted needs. In working with refugees, IDPs, and returnees across the continent, AHA can commonly be found, amongst other things, providing the following services:
Healthcare: Large population movements and resettlement can pose an increased risk to people’s health, especially those who are vulnerable. Therefore AHA works hard to provide a high standard of inclusive and easily accessible health care, with clinics, mobile health teams and community health workers servicing the needs of hundreds of thousands of people every year. Find out more about AHA Health Care.
HIV/AIDS: The disease continues to be a major killer throughout Africa, with approximately 6,000 people dying each day and millions more adversely affected. Risks are exacerbated in a refugee/displaced persons setting, where social, community and family norms that govern sexual behavior are disrupted. In response, AHA activities are diverse, holistic, and far reaching; incorporating treatment, care/support and prevention, with a heavy emphasis on the latter. In doing so, we aim to provide the necessary information and services to enable and empower vulnerable communities to mitigate the impact of the disease. Find out more about our work 0n HIV/AIDS.
Food Distribution and Nutrition: Many refugees/IDPs can find themselves forced to settle in areas that are resource scarce and/or lacking the infrastructure for food growth or provision. Therefore, AHA works to ensure all camp residents are provided with essential nutritional support. In addition, our nutrition centers offer supplementary feeding, therapeutic feeding, and basket monitoring activities, as necessary. Looking to the future, we also assist in providing sustainable measures like setting up gardens/nurseries, delivering training, providing necessary equipment, and supporting new industry.
Water and Sanitation: In resource scarce areas a safe and adequate water supply, along with good sanitation, can quite literally mean the difference between life and death, economic success or failure and good or bad community relations. Therefore AHA provides a full range of environmental services, ensuring a clean and accessible water supply and good sanitation facilities. Affected populations are further informed and educated in the practise of good environmental health and fully participate in implementing measures against waterborne and other diseases.
Shelter: When people arrive at Refugee/IDP camps, homeless and in need of assistance, shelter provision is of high priority and can reduce the level of trauma experienced. At AHA sites people are provided with tents upon arrival, and when space becomes available they are supplied with materials and assisted with the construction of their own homes.
Transport and Logistics: A number of camps are located in areas undergoing crisis, placing huge pressure on the organization of transport and logistics. It is not unusual that roads become impassable due to adverse weather conditions and/or violence and necessary items become difficult to secure. However AHA is adept and experienced at ensuring the safe movement of people (arrivals/returnees/repatriates) and necessary supplies, by managing storage and distribution and responding innovatively to challenges that arise.
Protection: This is first and foremost a preventative activity, safeguarding vulnerable populations from imminent harm and averting recurrent harm. It works in conjunction with assistance activities, which seek to help people recover once harm has been done. AHA programs address protection in the widest sense of the term as demonstrated by our relief and recovery activities, but also tackle specific protection issues as exemplified by our work in Sudan.
Community Development: In all AHA activities we employ a participatory approach, assisting populations in recognizing, mobilizing and building upon their resilience, resources, and capacities. Community, self-help and interest based groups are encouraged and supported, along with entertainment and awareness raising events. Camp residents are further supported in developing their own capacities through training, provision of equipment and micro-loans. Founded upon dialogue and partnership, our work aims to reinforce people’s dignity and self esteem, strengthen their self reliance, and empower them to take control of their immediate futures.