Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.
Social safety nets such as welfare systems, pensions, cash and food entitlements, school feeding programmes, free or subsidised access to health services, and agricultural insurance schemes, help protect people from extreme poverty, which in turn protect them from resorting to environmentally damaging coping mechanisms such as unsustainable abstraction of natural resources for sale for survival income.
Women, children, the elderly, the disabled, and people living with chronic health conditions are most in need of social safety nets as they have the least capacity to build their own sustainable livelihoods.
Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems
Natural Resource Depletion
The provision of social safety nets supports people so they are not forced into environmentally damaging coping mechanisms such as unsustainable abstraction of natural resources for sale for survival income.
Potential increase or decrease in tree cutting; charcoal making; foraging/hunting for wildlife; damage to ecosystems; sanitary hygiene practices and disease spread.
People who are already living on the edge of poverty who are hit by a humanitarian crisis are very vulnerable to falling into extreme poverty, hunger, and sickness.
The provision of social safety nets such as entitlement to benefits; access to institutional feeding programes; livelihood insurance schemes; access to emergency medical treatment; can protect them from the worst impacts. Such social safety nets can also protect people from feeling forced into environmentally damaging coping mechanisms such as unsustainable abstraction of natural resources for sale for survival income. Provision or absence of social safety nets are likely to lead to a decrease or increase in tree cutting; peat cutting; charcoal making; foraging/hunting for wildlife; dredging of gravel and excavating clay for construction materials; damage to ecosystems; (in)sanitary hygiene practices and disease spread.
Provide emergency cash and voucher assistance or NFIs, food assistance, health care, livelihoods support whilst developing or advocating for the establishment of effective social safety nets.
Where social safety nets are not present or insufficient, support affected populations hit by humanitarian crisis with emergency cash and voucher assistance; NFI assistance such as blankets, cooking equipment, emergency shelter materials; provide emergency food assistance, health care, and livelihoods support.
In parallel to providing emergency assistance develop or advocate for the establishment of effective social safety nets.
Safety nets could be very locally developed such as community savings and loans schemes for health emergencies or school fees; access to commercial or community-based crop or other livelihood insurance schemes; provision of seed and grain banks; self-help groups; or information campaigns on accessing existing rights such as rights to childcare, schooling provision, pensions or food assistance.
Agencies working in northern Myanmar demonstrated that establishing social safety nets such as village crop insurance schemes, village-level health emergency funds, saves lives and significantly reduces unsustainable environmental coping mechanisms.
Number of communities where social safety nets have been effectively established that protect the most vulnerable from resorting to environmentally harmful coping mechanisms.
Prevention of environmental damage
Mitigation of environmental damage
Standard humanitarian assistance activities to assess needs for food, water, cash, NFIs, shelter, etc.
Significant additional time and resources to advocate or develop local social safety nets.