The IASC Task Force on Safe Access to Firewood and Alternative Energy in Humanitarian Settings was established by the IASC Working Group in March 2007.
It has met twice, in May 23-24, 2007 in New York (hosted by the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children) and in December 6-7, 2007 in Geneva (hosted by UNHCR). The Task Force will meet once more before the expiry of its mandate in May 2008. The Task Force is co-chaired by UNHCR; WFP; and the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, as part of InterAction. For a full list of the members, please click on the link provided on the left hand side.
As stated in its Terms of References (TOR): “the guiding purpose of the Task Force is to reduce exposure to violence, contribute to the protection of and ease the burden on those populations collecting wood in humanitarian settings worldwide, through solutions which will promote safe access to appropriate energy and reduce environmental impacts while ensuring accountability.”
» The objectives of the Task Force are:
- To provide specific, practical guidance for the development of a coordinated fuel strategy in humanitarian settings, including outlining issues to be addressed and agency roles and responsibilities; to develop a practical coordination mechanism – working through and enhancing existing mechanisms such as the cluster approach and field-level working groups – for ensuring accountability and that all relevant areas are effectively and sustainably addressed during implementation of the strategy;
- To identify partners to create a distinct, field-based, technically-oriented network on fuel to capitalize on fuel-related initiatives already underway, and to enhance and sustain the work of the Task Force to ensure continued relevance of the outputs of the Task Force after its completion; and
- To advocate for financial and technical support at global level to resolve identified fuel-related problems in the field, including through the development and promotion of new technologies.
»The Task Force will achieve these objectives via the following outputs:
- A matrix on agency roles and responsibilities for ensuring a coordinated, multi-sectoral fuel strategy in humanitarian settings, linked to the clusters/sectors and to the phase of the crisis;
- A decision-tree diagram that provides field actors with clear means of determining factors influencing their choice of fuel strategy in a given situation (phase of the emergency, climate, relations with host communities, transportation, security, prevalence of firewood, etc.);
- Establishment of a distinct, field-based and technically oriented network on fuel to enhance and sustain the work of the Task Force and ensure the continued relevance of the outputs;
- Establishment of a “go-to” website for technical information on fuel-related initiatives, providing linkages with local and regional partners and experts;
- An outreach strategy for linking fuel-related initiatives with interested donors, private and public, and mobilizing support for those initiatives