4 -- Major Relief Agencies
[Focus on UNICEF]
Other UN Agencies in Gujarat
Other Relief Agencies
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A well known organization that has been and is of major importance to the victims of the Gujarat earthquake is CARE. CARE has been helping the country of India over the last fifty-one years. Since1982 CARE has also been contributing a program called the Integrated Child Development Services, or ICDS. This program is the largest program in the world that provides nutrition and health care for millions of women and children. The basic services of this organization include the management of diarrhea and respiratory infections, immunizations, growth monitoring, health and nutrition education, and Vitamin A supplements. CARE also provides supplementary food rations to 6.6 million malnourished children, adolescent girls and pregnant and nursing women through ICDS. As well as helping out with keeping people healthy, CARE contributed to education programs for kids. The Gujarat Earthquake that devastated so many people's lives was not the first natural disaster to hit India. There were also the deadly Orissa cyclones. After this disaster, CARE gave their support and helped to provide for over a half of a million people who were affected. On a whole, CARE has not been helping out in India for very long, but it has been a very successful organization in raising money and putting it to good use.
|In response to the most recent natural disaster in India, CARE was on the scene with nine experts the morning after the earthquake, on February 14, 2001. Located very close to the places of disaster, the 500 employees of CARE at the base in New Delhi, began work right away. The four places that this organization is focusing most of its services on are Anjar, Bhachau, Rapar, and Bhuj. The first phase of these services that CARE planned was the emergency phase. It consisted of mostly rescue and clean up. They provided six teams of volunteer medical experts to help out on the scene. As well as helping to clean up the deceased victims and care for the seriously injured, this organization provided many families, who lost their homes, with some basic necessities. On a whole, the emergency phase provided about 10,000 families with the following: one tarpaulin, two floor mats, three blankets to protect families from nighttime temperatures, dipping below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, one 10-liter jerrycan, 20 water purification tablets, to ensure each family a clean water supply for up to three weeks, and one lantern per family to provide light and security. All of these items were bought or donated by the generous people who donated to CARE. The emergency phase was finished in February.|
In addition to providing services directly to the victims of the earthquake CARE has made an effort to partner up with other organizations located in India to better serve the people. The largest organization that they have teamed up with is the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, also known as the FICCI. CARE's role in this partnership includes raising money for many projects that the FICCI is running in India.
With the money that CARE raises, the FICCI provides materials, staff, and coordination of these projects that contribute to the reconstruction of the communities (examples are in the paragraph above). As well as helping with the reconstruction of communities, this partnership is helping the establishment of policy, administrative and technical support, planning, management, monitoring, evaluation, strategic direction, planning, monitoring and evaluation in the government. Along with helping the FICCI, CARE has also partnered with the Agricultural and Natural Resources, the ANR, and the Small Economic Activity Development, also known as SEAD, to make sure they are being effective to help India's working population. Many of the jobs that these partnerships are helping to provide include the repair of damaged wills, the promotion of small businesses, and the training of villagers in useful trades. Overall, CARE has played a very important role in the reconstruction of the affected areas by partnering with many other organizations to better serve the victims.
All of CARE's services so far have contributed to helping a total of about 50,000 people. The services so far have raised $12 million of the $30 million goal, which is the largest goal ever set by CARE. However, this number is just a small portion of the total estimated amount of 4.5 billion dollars that is needed to bring all of the devastation back to normal. On a whole, the money will be used for the rapid infrastructure rehabilitation and social-economic recovery of the earthquake affected areas of Kutch district with a particular emphasis on the poorest and most vulnerable groups. The most affected areas being helped by CARE and other help organizations, the 35 communities in Anjar, Bhachao and Rapar of Kutch District of Gujarat, will hopefully be almost back to normal by 2003. CARE has helped and is helping a great number of victims in India to rebuild after one of the most devastating earthquakes ever to hit India.
Here is an overview of the a portion of the goal to rebuild communities for CARE:
10,000 individual earthquake and cyclone resistant homes (to serve 50,000 people)
35 primary schools (for 3,500 children)
35 multipurpose community shelter (Panchayat Office, Women and Child Care Centre and Village Health Post to serve 50,000 people)
35 water-harvesting structures
35 micro-enterprise resurrections (for 26,000 people)
35 agriculture and livelihoods schemes (for 9,625 people).
FICCI-CARE Gujarat Rehabilitation Programme: Building a safe
Earthquake in India, http://www.care.org/info_center/indiaeq/index.html
The Red Cross is doing many things to contribute to the effort to help the victims of the terrible earthquake in Gujarat. The victims were left without shelter, food, clothes or water, and the Red Cross has been doing it's part to help the people left without the basic needs of life.
In the two and a half months since the devestating earthquake that struck Gujarat in northwest India, the Red Cross relief operation has focused on distributing blankets, tents and tarpaulins to address the shelter needs of thousands of people who have lost their homes. Situated 13 killometers from Bhuj with a population of 5,000, Bharpar was hit hard by the quake. Ninety percent of the houses in the villiage were comepletely destroyed; and in the first few weeks after the disaster, the Federation, together with volunteers from the Indian Red Cross, provided plastic sheeting for shelter as well as blankets, kitchen sets and water containers to more than 700 families in the villiage. The Indian Red Cross is also helping with smaller things that are still important to the citizens of Gujarat; one example is the distribution of eyeglasses to more than 400 people. Out of 550 men and women, 410 needed glasses. There were many, like 12 year old Priya, whose spectacles were smashed under the rubble when her house collapsed. "It was hard to read my school books because my head would ache without eyeglasses. This present from the Red Cross means I can study like I did before the earthquake," she says.
Since the disaster hit on January 26, relief organizations like the Red Cross have provided the quake ravaged region with mobile clinics, temporary housing and emergency supplies of water. Now, as monsoon season approaches, the attention is shifting to more permanent measures, such as long term healthcare, new clean water sources and mental health programs for those suffering the emotional consequences of the devestating earthquake. "We are discovering villages badly affected by the earthquake that have not yet been reached by any other organization," the American Red Cross stated in a recent report. To help India recover from major losses to its healthcare system, the American Red Cross plans to assist the Indian Red Cross in establishing programs in community healthcare, health education and home nursing. The American Red Cross and the Indian Red Cross will also work together to supply long term solutions that provide safe drinking water and adequate sewage facilities to the affected communities.
The International Red Cross launched an appeal Saturday for two million Swiss francs ($1.2 million, 1.3 million Euros) to help the victims of the disaster. The money will be used for clothing, blankets, medical supplies and building materials as well as water treatment plants to provide drinking water. The American Red Cross immediately released $25,000 of relief supplies to help jump start the relief. An additional $20, 000 of relief supplies including 100 rolls of plastic sheeting and 2, 500 blankets being sent to the region. Other donors to the international effort of helping Gujarat are: Alcoa, American Express, AT&T, Bristol-Myers Squib, Colgate-Palmolive, Intel Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, Phillip Morris, and Western Union Foundation.
The Red Cross is doing all it can for Gujarat's economy, for example, they are helping shop owners and street peddlers to get their jobs back. The city streets are finally coming back to life. Vendors, including farmers bringing in fresh fruits and vegetables, have begun to crowd the streets with goods once again. People are slowly starting to return to shops that are beginning to sell medicines, clothes and supplies. The commercial center of this region is slowly rising from the rubble. When the citizens of Gujarat are all reemployed once again, the economy will return to it's original stable economy. However, these plans, while starting to work, cannot reach their goal until the total impact on the local economy is found out. The government estimates that it will not be known for months.
ACT stands for "Action by Churches Together." It is a Global alliance of churches and aid agencies working to save live and support communities. They focus on the larger disasters to help--since there are so many more people--and it often makes greater impact.
ACT works through 180 protestant and orthodox churches and aid agencies from the membership of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation. Based on action and information from members, ACT International issues alerts and appeals for assistance. ACT is an international organization, so they help other countries that are less fortunate than we are, and loose everything due to natural disaster.
ACT gives assistance to countries with environmental disasters, but it also gives support to countries in wars. It will not enter into battle with them, but it gives them money after the wars to help them rebuild their houses and repare whatever damage was done. They help try to reach the needy populations across front lines, national borders and other ethnic, political or religious divides. They also reach out events of race, gender, creed, nationality, ethnic origin or political persuasion.
ACT cannot do everything by itself. It has other oragnizations that help them. They work through 180 protestant and orthodox churches and aid agencies form the membership of the World Council or Churches and Lutheran World Federation. Act doesn't always get what they want or need immediately. A lot of time, they are forced to issue appeals and alerts for people to notice, and to give them assistance.
ACT can respond through a Rapid Response Fund to meet urgent needs. They get a lot of their money from people in Europe, North America, Asia and the Pacific. Some they get from agencies/organizations, and the others are from members of ACT in other countries. Some of the ways they get their money is private donations, church collections and from partners. Some of their partners are ECHO and USAID, as well as some other individual governments.
ACT is lead by 30 people who meet annually to keep ACT policy on good terms. They are always in daily contact with the ACT Coordinator and the rest of the office, to make sure everything is running smoothly, and that there are no objections to anyone.
The ACT organization had strong relations with some of the countries/areas of which are affected by the disasters. Because of this, they now have better knowledge of what the area needs, for they know what it was like before the disaster hit. This will help them understand the compact of the disaster, and understand how this hurts people, and their everyday lives. This may even influence people even more. ACT has good knowledge of how to help the following areas, for it has done much research and have dealt with it before. They are Camp management, shelter, food and non-food distribution, health care, water and sanitation, disaster preparedness, demeaning, transition from relief to development, conflict resolution, peace and reconciliation.
Some of ACT's funding
- totaled US $ 76.million in 2000
- Africa received $29.6 million
- Asia and the Pacific received $5 million
- Europe received $30.5 million
- Latin America and the Caribbean received $6.3 million
- Middle East received $4.5 million
About $700,000 was spent on medical training for people to be sent into the countries. Act broke its focus down to many different towns in many different countries. One of which was Gujarat, India.
In January, sometime after ACT heard about the Gujarat earthquake and found out how serious it was, sent out relief and assessment teams to the affected area. They quickly distributed both food and non-food relief items. ACT had supplied over 35,000 people in the area with things like dry food, water, blankets, utensils and shelter materials. Many tents and shelter-like things were sent out for anyone who needed it. Almost everybody lost their house so "make-shift" living was made under the tents. Two of ACT's members, CASA and LWF-I, planned immediate relief of around $1.5 million each. The ACT Coordinating Office donated $ 100,000 from the Rapid Response Fund to help two members get started.
ACT member CASA served warm meals and distributed water in some parts, which were affected. From LWF (a member of ACT) there were several bore hole drilling teams on stand by for restoring crucial water supplies once roads opened up. The more active members in members in ACT for the Gujarat disaster were Churches Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA), Lutheran World Service- India (LWS-I) and the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of India (UELCI)
ACT and its active members continued helping Gujarat (and they
still do) by sending water tanks. They also sent family kits consisting
- Men's and women's clothing
- Kitchen utensils
- Dry food, consisting of rice, flour, lentils and edible oil
ACT has been sending, and doing all they could to help the Gujarat victims.
"The pictures in the papers and on television cannot do
justice to the devastation," says an official at ACT. Most
of the members from the ACT organization were very hurt by all
of what has happened. It is much more than just Gujarat, however.
They do this for countries and towns all over the world. They
have a firsthand look at what is really like around the world.
They don't think about helping people all over the world, they
The Office for the Coordinate of Humanitarian Affair (OCHA) was established pursuant to the adoption of the Secretary-Generals program for reform. The Emergency Relief Coordinators' functions are focused in three core areas:
|1. developing policy and coordination functions
in support of the Secretary-General, ensuring that all humanitarian
issues (including those which fall
....between gaps in existing mandates of agencies such as protection and assistance for internally displaced persons) are addressed;
2. promoting humanitarian issues with political organs (notably the Security Council);
3. Coordinating humanitarian emergency response by ensuring that an appropriate response mechanism is established, through Inter-Agency Standing
....Committee (IASC) consultations, on the ground.
Within OCHA there are many agencies that also help bad situations; one of those agencies is ReliefWeb. Right now, ReliefWeb is working on the following disasters: the Balkans, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Great Lakes, the Horn of Africa, and West Africa.
In the Balkans, there are terrorist activities being conducted by rebel forces. ReliefWeb is now helping all of the people whose homes were burned down. In Chechnya there is a potential food crisis because crops were ruined. In Afghanistan there is a civil war that is on the brink of beginning and many people are fleeing to Russia.
Some 4,000 Hutu rebels have in recent months returned from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Burrundi, where "widespread civil war" is looming, the International Crisis Group (ICG) warned. Burrundi, Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and The Horn of Africa (Ethiopia) are dealing with a significant disease problem that is spreading throughout villages and may spread throughout all of Africa. This is a very dangerous epidemic. In West Africa rebels have taken several hundred children hostage. WebRelief and OCHA are trying to give some of the hostage's new homes (they were burned) and belongings.
The work that they have to do is hindered by a shortfall of finances. The grand total of how much they need is $2.5 billion. This money is for all of the agencies that help those in need. Over $542,000,000 is the amount of money that they have collected this year from various sources. If you add this years sum and the sum that we have carried over from last year it is over $557,608,985, but they are still short $1,980,006,985. Since they are short a large amount of money, they can only do 22% of what they had planned to do.
OCHA works with them to ensure that there is a coherent framework within which each actor can contribute effectively and promptly to the overall effort. The UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs was established in 1992 specifically to address this need. As part of the United Nations Secretary-General's reform program, the Department was renamed the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in January 1998. More importantly, its effectiveness was enhanced by a sharper focus, more active inter-agency cooperation, and a streamlining of procedures for support of field coordination.
There are three major ways in which OCHA fulfils its role:
(1) It coordinates the international humanitarian response, including contingency planning when appropriate. When a major complex crisis breaks, OCHA consults with the UN Country Team through the UN Resident and/or Humanitarian Coordinator in the country(ies) concerned and undertakes inter-agency consultation at headquarters to reach agreement on the main humanitarian priorities for action. OCHA then provides support for the coordination of activities in country. It also assists in resource mobilization by launching inter-agency appeals and in monitoring progress of relief efforts.
(2) It provides the humanitarian community with support in policy development. OCHA also tries to ensure that major humanitarian issues are addressed, including those that fall between the existing mandates of humanitarian organizations.
(3) It advocates on humanitarian issues, giving voice to the silent victims of crises and ensuring that the views and concerns of the broad humanitarian community are reflected in overall efforts towards recovery and peace building. OCHA also provides information and analysis to help raise awareness and enhance understanding of humanitarian issues, through its Web site and electronic mail.
OCHA discharges its coordination function primarily through the IASC, which is chaired by the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), with the participation of all humanitarian partners, including the Red Cross Movement and NGOs. IASC ensures inter-agency decision-making in response to complex emergencies, including needs assessments, consolidated appeals, field coordination arrangements and the development of humanitarian policies
Although I am not sure on how much money OCHA has raised through Gujurat, I am sure that they have mobilized $904 million in cash and in-kind contributions and channeled $37 million directly. OCHA also provided emergency cash grants of $4 million to developing countries.
Most emergencies requiring UN humanitarian involvement call for significant participation by a large number of actors. In these cases, the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) may appoint, after consulting the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), a Humanitarian Coordinator (normally the incountry UN Resident Coordinator) to ensure effective field-level coordination of the overall humanitarian effort. Humanitarian Coordinators, reporting to the ERC, work closely with the UN humanitarian agencies, as well as with non-governmental and international organizations delivering assistance, to ensure coherent and timely response.
Overall, I think that the Office for the Coordinate of Humanitarian Affair does a very good job with keeping those in need of supplies and money with the supplies that they need. They handle worldwide emergencies with elegance, positive attitudes, rapidly, and style. The world is thankful for all of the great things that OCHA has done for the nations it has helped, and many more to come.
[Focus on UNICEF]
UNICEF's relief program consists of many different elements. They are spending a huge amount of money to help the Gujarat quake victims. The current quantity received exceeds $10.1 million in assistance. The emphasis of their effort is in education and trauma counseling. Although they do all of this, it also includes family survival, the restoration of basic health services, and the provision of safe water and sanitation. At the moment, they are in the process of getting, 10,000 family-size jerry cans, at least 700 large tents (to be used as temporary classrooms, health care facilities, and spaces for children to play), school supplies, teacher's supplies, extra measles vaccine and auto-dosage syringes (they cannot be reused, so they prevent the transmission of HIV and hepatitis), vitamin A for about 1 million children, one million ORS packets, refrigerators and electrical generators, pumps and replacement parts for water systems, and 56,000 family survival kits. UNICEF has been a large provider to earthquake victims.
Gujarat volunteer taking medical supplies to a temporary hospital
UNICEF did many things initially to help Gujarat earthquake victims. After only two days, they had already distributed 50,000 blanket, 1 million chlolroquine tablets (used for water purification), and enough emergency medical supplies to help 30,000 people for 3 months. In the following seventy-two hours, they distributed an additional $600,000 in life-saving medicine and emergency medical equipment. They also began the partitioning of family survival kits and emergency medical kits.
UNICEF is also working with other organizations to help victims, including the NGO non-governmental organizations associated with the United Nations and the state government of Gujarat. They are in the process of trying to open at least 350 temporary schools and 300 health centers. Many volunteers are working to train trauma counselors and help survivors who are suffering. Also, many experts in trauma were flown in from offices throughout India. UNICEF is forming a drought mitigation and proofing program as part of the quake effort. This includes making safe water and sanitation systems that are needed to stop the spread of disease. Because of the help from other organizations, UNICEF is helping thousands of people recover from the earthquake.
UNICEF's relief efforts are also focused on the medical needs of victims. They are also passing out emergency health kits that included many essentials for helping Gujarat victims. A basic unit contains basic drugs such as anti-inflammatories, antacid, disinfectant, oral rehydration, salts (to treat dehydration), anti-malaria, basic antibiotics, and ointment for eye infections. It also includes medical supplies like cotton wool, soap, bandages, thermometer, medical instruments, health cards, record books, and items to help provide clean water (at the health facilities). Included are treatment guidelines for health care workers and essential equipment.
"Action Taken." http://ww.unicefusa.org/alert/emergency/indiaeq/#action
"Emergency Medical Kits." http://www.unicefusa.org/alert/emergency/indiaeq/med_kits.html
"Utensil Uses." http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/reference/utensils/utensils.html
The mission of UNICEF is a very basic idea with some very complex concepts. The mission in it's most plain of terms is that UNICEF works to help children who are victims of natural and human disasters. Some examples of the disasters in which UNICEF works to relieve are earthquakes, wars, famines, floods, droughts, fires, etc. UNICEF also tries to teach landmine awareness to children in countries where this is a potential massive threat. Not only does UNICEF try to help children but they also urge to help girls and women become more active in their communities both culturally and politically.
The "programmes" in UNICEF were designed to help promote the rights of women in children, in numerous third world or disaster struck countries, to ensure that the future of these countries will be better for the generations to come, and t o ensure that these children become able to reach their full potential as people with out negative views during adolescence.
These "programmes" are run in 130 countries around the world. They are carried out in partnership with each country's government, civil service organizations, and the cooperation of numerous communities in or near the affected area.
The U. N. created UNICEF as a relief fund aimed towards the rights of children in order to help save and help children in numerous countries around the world. In order to help children, UNICEF brings in supplies necessary to alleviate the situation.
One such situation where it was necessary for UNICEF t render their services very similar to that which was used in India was the El Salvador earthquake this year. Imagine you were a child in El Salvador in January
Within a few days, people from UNICEF come in and evaluate the situation. They soon organize relief efforts. They have come to help find people and restore life in El Salvador, just as they do in numerous situations. The people from UNICEF began taking control of the situation of health and water and sanitation. UNICEF brings in volunteer medics in order to help alleviate the situation. The UNICEF volunteers would air lift numerous pediatric medications. From one website that was based on the El Salvador relief effort, they noted the exact amounts and types of medications taken into the situation. "UNICEF received an airlift of pediatric medications for 150,000 children containing Amoxicillin 125mg/5ml 15,000 units; ophthalmic tetracyclene 15,000 tubes, Clotrimazole x 240mg, 4,500 units, Paracetamol x 125 mg/5 ml 60,000 units, Neomycin/Bacitracin x 500UI/5mg 15,000 tubes; Salbutamol x 2mg/5ml 1,500 units and Benzil Benzoate at 25%, 1000 units of 1,000 ml." Besides working with Pediatric medical and health needs, UNICEF spends an equal amount of time working on sanitation and water. UNICEF uses a committee to focus primarily on this issue. UNICEF received an airlift from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of 15,000 jerry cans, 5,000 filters, 4 portable treatment plants, 140-1,000 to 10,000 litter bladders, 1,500 shovels and pick axes and 64 kitchen sets for 50 people each. This airlift almost doubles the material already delivered to ANDA and MOH by UNICEF, making UNICEF the largest provider to the national Water Company. UNICEF brought in numerous water tanks and other essential supplies to supply these places with one of life's most crucial of supplies.
After the volunteers from UNICEF take care of the most immediate damage they begin to rebuild. It will be a long and grueling process, but truly needed to restore life in this area. But where do these volunteers get the suppies needed to begin to restore life again? To date UNICEF procures more than $400 million worth of supplies. This is an almost yearly amount. Included in these supplies are vaccines and immunization equipment, essential drugs, micronutrient supplements, therapeutic foods, medical equipment and educational supplies, transport and IT equipment.The UNICEF Supply Devision is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. This devision oversees UNICEF's global chain management. Copenhagen also houses the UNICEF supply warehouses, where the majority of crucial supplies are airlifted from. Even though the main supply headquarters is in Denmark, there are numerous regional procurement centersin places like Ankara, Turkey, New Delhi, India, and Pretoria, South Africa.
UNICEF has a very black and white mission but the organization truly has a lot to say on the subject of children.One of UNICEF's greatest ideas on the subject is in the quote that they use on their website, "We are calling on every one of you, everywhere, to do as much as you possibly can for children in your own time and in your own way." UNICEF works hard to protect and preserve children world round no matter what the disaster. The organization is one of the worlds best examples of why we should protect our children and try to save them after something very devistating occurs. "Listen to the children, for they are the future."
UNICEF in Gujarat (Updated 5/01)
UNICEF has always been driven to help those in need, especially
women and children, in exceptional circumstances. Their current
mission in India could not be put more to the test. Over one hundred
days have passed from the date of the earthquake that occurred
on January 26. UNICEF quickly ran into action at the first signs
of distress and continues to assist the Government of Gujarat,
as to enable them to become self-sufficient. As time moves on
UNICEF changes it's objectives for trying to the earthquake problem
but their objectives for Gujarat are still being sought for and
their results well met.
January 26, 2001, an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale rudely interrupts a day in Gujarat. A day that was supposed to bring fun and excitement instead results in tragedy. This earthquake quickly destroys homes, schools, and businesses while also turning the lives of Gujarat's residents upside down. Twenty-four hours later UNICEF is already taking action to assess the problem. Action is taken to prevent the situation from escalating. UNICEF's team based in Gujarat has already begun work on co-ordination and information gathering, so as to give the UN and the main branch of UNICEF in Delhi, India an assessment of the situation. Forty-eight hours after this, UNICEF has mobilized the distribution of 50,000 blankets, 1 million water purification tablets and emergency medical supplies to cover 30,000 people for three months. Seventy-two hours later $600,000 in life-saving medical equipment and drugs is sent to the residents of Gujarat. UNICEF's quick action has enabled them to react to this situation sooner in order to better it before it becomes increasingly worse.
|UNICEF is not alone when taking action in the Gujarat crisis. UNICEF has been working very closely with the state government of Gujarat and other United Nations relief agencies to address the care taking of the victims of this natural disaster. UNICEF is the leading agency concerning water and sanitation. Clean water is an important part of being able to survive and what UNICEF has done is give out water purification tablets to families so they can enjoy clean water. The Government of Gujarat and UNICEF came up with a mitigation plan before the earthquake in the possibility of a drought. This plan has now been altered slightly, so it may prove to be useful to the earthquake situation. Because of the initiation of their mitigation plan water has been able to reach the citizens of Gujarat comparatively more quickly.|
In order to have such a great amount of administration capabilities
UNICEF, opened a Control Center located in Ahmedabad. This 'room'
has been set up to co-ordinate effort relief in conjunction with
the Gujarat State Government. Medical teams have arrived from
Maharastra and Rajasthan to give aid to those who were injured
during the earthquake. The Gujarat Government has been hard at
work to try to help repair the damage. So far the government has
provided 10,000 tons of food grain and 10, 000 blankets, free
daily transport along the Railway Minister has also been made
available. Free transport has also been made to ship people and
things to safer places and special aircrafts have been sent, carrying
medical teams to help address the situation. With the help of
the Government of Gujarat, UNICEF has been able to make a larger
difference than if they were just to work entirely independently.
|UNICEF is currently working on larger issues pertaining to the earthquake. One of the most important issues that have been brought up is education and trauma relief for children. Trauma recognition experts have been training teachers so that they are able to recognize signs of trauma in children and better asses the situation. When this training is over the teachers will begin to work in temporary schools established by UNICEF to try and help children regain the normalcy of their lives before the earthquake struck. Relief teams are busy sending school supplies and medicine to the hardest hit areas. A Government of Gujarat/UN sponsored Gujarat Conference on Sustainable Recovery and Vulnerability Reduction was held May 12, 2001, it's objective to look at how to fix the still apparent problems in India. On April 23, 2001, the Government of Gujarat announced an Urban Housing Rehabilitation Project. Currently funds have been allocated for 188 but there are 800 villages that have been damaged in Kutch alone, and many more funds are necessary to help more of the affected villages.|
UNICEF has constantly stood by Gujarat in its time of need and now slowly steps away so it is better able to address other issues in India and it's surrounding nations. In collaboration with the other NGO's, UNICEF has budgeted $12,800,000 to help Gujarat and with the efforts of the public, has raised much more. All of the money that has been spent so far has been largely contributed to reconstruction, child protection and citizens' welfare. UNICEF is one of the UN agencies that has stuck by Gujarat in this time of need and helped them try to get themselves out of the disaster the earthquake has created for them. UNICEF has been a key role in trying to resolve the earthquake problem and helping Gujarat move forward. This agency's delicate handling of the situation, especially of their efforts to help children through this, is most remarkable. There are many kids that have been orphaned by the deaths of their parents and other family members. They are aiding an effort for finding families to adopt these children as to not force them to move to other parts of the world. Aiding people in need and children has been the goal of UNICEF for as long as it has been in existence and Gujarat has just been another test for them, to see if they would be able to pull through and they have been successful.
UNICEF Relief Assessment: Successes and Challenges in Gujarat
It all began when a deadly earthquake shook the land in Gujarat, India. UNICEF immediately began working to help the people who suffered this terrible natural disaster. Homes and lives were destroyed. Up to five million children were affected by the January 2001 earthquake in India.
Between 1.5 and 2.5 million children under the age of 14 lost family members. Their homes or and schools were destroyed in the worst-hit parts of Gujarat. "Children are very vulnerable in this situation," said Maria Calivis, head of UNICEF's India office. UNICEF's relief program will focus on education and trauma counseling as well as family survival, restoration of basic health services and provision of safe water."They are vulnerable to illness, to malnutrition and to trauma, and the safe havens of their daily lives--their homes and schools --have been taken away from them. "People are in need of desperate help, so UNICEF is doing many things to support and aid the people.
The people were far from immediate help and not a single home was undamaged. Chitroba has four 1,320 gallon water tanks. They were supplied by UNICEF as part of a two-year drought-proofing program. Remarkably, virtually all of them emerged undamaged from the deadly January 26 quake. Because of this, the people were able to have clean water to drink. UNICEF is continuing its relief efforts, trucking and flying in tents, family survival kits, emergency medical kits, electrical generators, safe water, chlorine (for water purification), tarpaulins, and blankets. A vaccination program is an essential part of UNICEF's relief operations in Gujarat because when children are malnourished, they become more vulnerable to communicable diseases, especially when they are living in crowded temporary shelters. Tents are going up in villages like Chitroba, that are being used as temporary classrooms, health centers, and child-friendly spaces. These are places where children can play in a safe environment while their mothers receive access to basic health and social services. The child-friendly space concept was first used by UNICEF in Kosovo.
In the village of Chitroba that morning, survivors of the earthquake called out to family and neighbors. Chitroba sits alone in the desert of Kutch, 110 miles west of the town of Bhuj (which was devastated by the quakes), far from immediate help. Not a single building is undamaged here. Schools, health care facilities, and more than 800 homes are fractured and smashed beyond repair. The wounds of 250 injured residents were washed; water and food were retrieved from perilous structures; the dead were plucked from their stony graves and burned on funeral pyres; and shelters were constructed away from dangerous ground. The villagers talked, soothed their children, and consoled families who had lost loved ones. And they waited for contact from the outside world. A UNICEF team came into the Chitroba area shortly after the earthquakes, conducting a needs assessment across territory that was already familiar to them. Later, water trucks provided by UNICEF were spread out across the state to reach and replenish water supplies. A damp trail at the feet of the tanks show that a water truck has just replenished the water supply, and there is a constant flow of people around the precious resource, collecting safe water. The activity of the relief operation is all around: food lines, people sorting through piles of clothing, trucks rumbling through narrow streets bearing supplies and tired relief workers. The whole village is dependent on donated humanitarian assistance. women, dressed in the brightly decorated cotton, are members of the Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA). SEWA is a well-established Indian non-governmental organization (NGO), and a partner of UNICEF, which helps women organize to improve the marketing of their crafts, and provides them with health insurance in case sickness should prevent them from working. Now, while the media and much of the relief effort are focused around the epicenter of the earthquake, SEWA is delivering desperately-needed UNICEF supplies of blankets and tarpaulins to Bakutra. These supplies are providing the basics of warmth and shelter to the families who are now sleeping outside in the cold Gujarati nights.
UNICEF, as well as many other organizations, has done many wonderful things for numerous places, including Gujurat. They are raising money and doing everything they can to help the victims of the quake as well as other natural disasters. It is a group effort. They depend on the donations of others and there willingness to volunteer. Along with the relief aid come many challenges that must be overcome in order to fulfill there goal of helping others. Besides UNICEF, there are very many relief organizations which provide emergency aid and care that help countries which have been struck by a natural disaster. These organizations can provide emergency care and survival kits, as well as give the victims long term aid such as rebuilding houses, schools, offices, railroads, etc. Many farmers and agricultural laborers who had lost their animals and agricultural implements and tools were desperately in need of help of some kind. A relief assessment was on its way. The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) made assistance available to provide implements and other relief items. These relief donations greatly helped the many people who were affected by this horrible natural disaster. This is just one example of a relief assessment that an organization provided. Other relief assessments include Red Cross, UNICEF, Food and Agricultural Organization, World Food Program, and many others.
Relief organizations are an extremely beneficial thing which, in the past have helped rebuild homes, schools, offices, hospitals, provided medical care for hurt victims, found families for children whose family were killed in the disaster, and have even saved many lives. Although relief assessments are generally always helpful for people in need, it is not always easy to go to third world countries and bring supplies enough to rebuild houses and buildings. The people who are involved with this often have very many challenges while trying to accomplish this. From raising money, to collecting medical supplies, and rebuilding cities it is often very difficult. , It is also sometimes hard to raise money and get volunteers to help rebuild communities.
Without relief assessments the world wouldn't be as successful as it is. People depend on each other for their help when things go wrong. Relief is so important and helps so much as it is absolutely necessary.
Membership-based relief organization InterAction deals with emergencies such as natural disasters as well as civil wars. Some of the civil wars, like the one in Sudan, have created many needs, but little attention is paid to them. For InterAction, there are so many agencies that its hard to bring them all together, and start taking action on solving the problem. Previously, InterAction helped with floods and then droughts in India. Interaction invented PVO standards that make sure money isn't wasted and harming other businesses in the area. They also make sure that they help in the long run. Interaction uses newspapers and the media to inform people of the disasters and needs. Interaction has agencies present in India to access the damage, and observe the relief actions that are being taken. Agencies had been present in India because of previous disasters, when the earthquake struck. So they stayed on and provided more aid. They will continue to stay until reconstruction has been going strong. It is found that the more media is involved than the more agencies are able to get funding. The US government and the UN provide funds and pay close attention to the disaster.
Mariel S. & Ali R.
Other UN Agencies in Gujarat
The state of Gujarat lies on the West Coast of India. In addition to its coastline on the Arabian Sea, it has common borders with Pakistan, and the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The state consists of 25 districts and has a total population of around 41 million. Although 2/3 of the people live in rural areas, Gujarat is India's most highly industrialized state.
The devastating earthquake that struck Gujarat on January 26, 2001 totally destroyed the majority of the state of India. Out of the 21 affected districts in India, the one's that were most affected by the earthquake were Kutch-Bhuj, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar and Rajkot. Within these districts more than 37.8 million people have been affected. According to official figures released by the central Government as of February 6, the earthquake killed 16,459 people and injured 68,478. The death toll continues to rise and is currently estimated to be between 20,000 and 50,000.
The State of Gujarat was already in the midst of a drought when the earthquake struck. This disaster has forced men to migrate in search of work. Rebuilding homes will, in most part be done by women. Therefore, involving women's groups from the early stages of planning and decisionmaking will be a priority to successfully rebuild everything that needs to be.
The overall situation is considered a multiple disaster, since the earthquake is the third natural disaster that struck Gujarat in the past four years. The state still suffers from the effects of a cyclone in 1998 and drought, which started in 1999 and which is expected to continue throughout the year of 2001. The persistent impact on the vulnerable population increases drastically with each new disaster that occurs in India. These disasters cannot be prevented since people have no control over natural disasters. Every disaster just takes its own course and strikes anywhere and everywhere, having no actual target, but destroying all in its path.
Even before the earthquake occurred, most of the districts of India were proclaimed to be highly food insecure, have a higher percentage of population who live below the poverty line and the majority of the districts are prone to disasters. In districts close to the epicenter of the earthquake, food insecurity and malnutrition of rural households is among the highest in the state, even in normal years. More than 50% of children are stunted and 45.5% wasted with high prevalence of Anemia among children.
There are many organizations that are doing a lot to help the victims of the India earthquake, and one organization in particular is The United Nations Development Programme, also called the UNDP. The UNDP along with other organizations are doing many things to help the survivors of the Gujarat earthquake. They are providing $3 million dollars towards early needs assessment, coordination and relief for the earthquake stricken State of Gujarat. The UNDP funding for Gujarat includes contributions of $1.7 million from the Italian Government, $650,000 from the United Kingdom Government's Department for International Development and $400,000 from the U.S. Agency for International Development, or the USAID.
The United Nations Development Programme's cooperation includes help to provide shelter to 40,000 families in the rural areas of the most severely affected parts of Gujarat. By ensuring safer reconstruction of houses with community involvement, the project wishes to reduce the vulnerability of rural populations in future disasters to come.
The United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Volunteers, or UNV, are recruiting 107 National UN Volunteers to help coordinate the distribution of relief items in the earthquake stricken region of Gujarat in northwestern India. These UN Volunteers will in turn, coordinate a group of 5,000 volunteers from youth organizations, reaching a large network of towns and villages, mainly in the Kutch district near the epicenter of the earthquake.
The United Nations Development Programme is providing immediate financial resources to these NGOs for stepping up relief operations. Their funds will be used primarily for housing materials and survival kits for the many affected families of the earthquake. The United Nations Development Programme is also supporting specialist national UN Volunteers (UNVs) to assist in relief coordination at the grassroots.
UNV is the volunteer arm of the UN system. It extends hands-on assistance for peace and development in nearly 150 countries. Created by the UN General Assembly in 1970 and administered by the United Nations Development Programme, UNV works through UNDP country offices to send volunteers and promote the ideals of volunteerism around the world. UN Volunteers have extensive experience in over 100 professional fields.
Other Relief Agencies
On January 26, 2001 an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale hit the state known as Gujarat, India. Houses, buildings, and families were torn apart. Many foundations hurried to their aid; they are raising money and are trying to help rebuild the towns and cities destroyed by this quake. The foundations also help other countries with disasters, and they help them to regain the state of well being.
The India Network Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable, community organization founded by Dr. K.V. Rao to serve the Asian Indian Community around the world and to help developmental projects in India. This network started small in 1988. The foundation has been assisting various development projects in India and providing support to members confronted with un-expected problems in the United States.
The foundation depends on contributions to maintain its level of service. The foundation is guided by a board of trustees with Dr. K.V. Rao as President and founder of the organization. Since 1993 and Until recently, the India network project was a part of the BGSU (Bowling Green State University Foundation). Since the activities of the foundation extended to helping developmental projects in India, a separate non-profit foundation has been established to allow us the greatest flexibility in meeting all of India's needs.
The INF attempts to provide steady network resources, support research on Asian Indian communities in the United States, meet the social and cultural needs of the immigrant community in an alien country, increase the knowledge and awareness of Indian and Asian Indian culture abroad. The INF launched a Group Health Insurance Plan for visiting parents, students, and temporary workers.
In the past, they have provided funding to qualified students from India to help them fulfill their goals in higher education in the Untied States. A number of students benefited from this program. However, They have closed this program due operational problems.
American Red Cross is an organization generally well known but not many people know it's roots and what it does in general. Here is some background on the American Red Cross.
Although the American Red Cross is not a government agency, its authority to provide disaster relief was formalized when, in 1905, the Red Cross was hired by Congress to "carry on a system of national and international relief in time of peace and apply the same in mitigating the sufferings caused by pestilence, famine, fire, floods, and other great national calamities, and to devise and carry on measures for preventing the same." The charter is not only a grant of power, but also an infliction of duties and obligations to the nation, to disaster victims, and to the people who support its work with their donations.
Red Cross disaster relief focuses on meeting people's immediate emergency needs. When a disaster strikes, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to address basic human needs. In addition to these services, the core of Red Cross disaster relief is the assistance given to people and families affected by a disaster to enable them to continue their normal daily activities. The Red Cross also feeds emergency workers, handles inquiries from worried family members outside the disaster area, provides blood and blood products to disaster victims, and helps those affected by the disaster to access other available resources.
One more relief agency is CARE. They, as well as the other agencies mentioned above, aided in the Gujarat disaster. Here is a small amount of information about CARE.
CARE is one of the world's largest private relief and development organizations, with projects in more than 60 countries. CARE began work in India in 1950 and today supports projects in food and agriculture, education and primary health care. In 1999, CARE was one of the major agencies responding to the Orissa cyclone, which devastated the state, and killed thousands, also leaving 15 million people homeless.
All of these agencies in addition to doing all of the good deeds shown above, also added in helping the people of Gujarat.