- 25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
- 28: Advent Sunday launch of Christmas Appeal November
- 29: International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
- December 1: World AIDS Day
- December 10: Human Rights Day
In West Sumatra, a huge earthquake triggered a 3 metre Tsunami on 25 October. The death toll has risen to over 400 and is expected to rise further as more of the missing are confirmed dead, CWS partners in Indonesia report. More than 23,000 residents, out of a total population of nearly 25,000, fled their homes. Many villages have been swept away.
CWS partners have reached the area with tonnes of relief aid after a 13 hour boat trip from Padang to the tsunami-hit Pagai islands - more than twice as long as the journey normally takes.
However, Ikhsan Mentong, Church World Service (CWS) Indonesia team leader in West Sumatra, said survivors still badly needed more food, clean water, shelters, mats, clothing, blankets, and medical teams and supplies. Sadly, body bags are among the goods islanders need. Mentawai Christian Protestant Church has provided space to treat the sick, yet it is still not enough. CWS Indonesia is sending a warehouse tent to serve as a health centre. A shortage of doctors is compounding the recovery.
In Central Java, the volcanic eruption of Mt Merapi on October 26 has killed at least 30 people and hospitalized many more. Over 50,000 people have been displaced. CWS partners are helping treat burn victims. One of the Indonesian partner groups, the Yakkum Emergency Unit (YEU) said that some admissions to their hospital had burns to 70 per cent of their bodies. YEU are also involved in setting up temporary shelters for refugees from the eruption in a training centre with toilets, water, food and health services as requested by village leaders. Volcanologists are warning that Mt Merapi has more to come.
Donations for Indonesia can be made online, by phone on 0800 74 73 72 or post cheques to PO Box Box 22652, Christchurch 8143
Update goes ‘e’
CWS is transferring the production of Update to an electronic form from December in an effort to increase its usefulness, and to save paper and costs. Please email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure that you continue to receive the latest news and information from CWS.
The e-newsletter will include material especially designed for ease of use in newsletters, regular reports from CWS partner groups, theological reflection, links to publications and announcements of new resources from CWS.
Three Months of Flooding in Pakistan
The end of October marks three months since the onset of flooding that has devastated Pakistan, causing large scale loss. Homes, livelihoods and family members have all been washed away in the unprecedented floods that have affected 21 million people. CWS partner Church World Service Pakistan reports: "The loss remains incomprehensible, especially for those who repeatedly witnessed a series of hardships over the past decade, including other floods, earthquakes and civil conflict.”
Unfortunately, in the three months since the start of the flooding, international media attention has shifted away from the flood disaster. However, "the people of Pakistan still need support in order to survive and overcome the challenges that have increased since the onset of the floods," CWS Pakistan staff report. "Disasters are one instance where time alone cannot heal wounds. Concerted efforts and commitment, however, will make a difference in the lives of millions of people. This difference will not only last for today but for years to come; the efforts over the next few months will drastically improve and change the course of lives for the affected communities.
"Lessons learned from previous disasters’ rehabilitation plans should be incorporated into current efforts. Even though the immediate needs for surviving the next few months in terms of food, shelter and winter season remain unmet for thousands of families, humanitarian agencies must look at both short-term and long-term aims in order to provide the most efficient and sustainable solutions for livelihood restoration.
"Livelihood initiatives that empower the affected communities with the ability to meet their immediate, basic needs as well as sustainable income generation are valuable. Providing quality seeds for the current planting season, reconstructing and upgrading damaged infrastructure with local resources, and providing skills training are a few examples. Timely restoration of transportation and communication infrastructure will also positively affect livelihood restoration. Quality standards should be met so that communities remain better equipped to deal with future disasters as well as improved income opportunities.
"Humanitarian agencies possess a variety of expertise and through coordination are capable of comprehensively assisting affected communities with rehabilitation efforts. In addition to the essential restoration of income-earning opportunities, efforts should also improve the standard of living. Emphasis on water and sanitation, health, and hygiene as well as education will greatly benefit the affected communities."
FOOD: As of October 22, CWS Pakistan had distributed a total of 16,540 food packages amounting to 1,938 tons of food. The distribution has benefited 91,200 individuals. In the affected area of Swat, CWS also distributed 1,260 food packages donated by the National Disaster Management Authority.
NON-FOOD ITEMS: A total of 7,840 non-food items, including 500 tents to families in Thatta, and temporary shelter supplies and household items to families in Khairpur and Sukkur have been distributed.
HEALTH: CWS Pakistan continues to provide health services through mobile health units and basic health units in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A total of ten mobile health units are operational in Mansehra, Kohistan, Swat, and D. I. Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Khairpur in Sindh.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone, the mobile health teams have provided more than 36,000 consultations. CWS’s health teams have conducted more than 1,300 health education sessions on issues related to personal hygiene, HIV and AIDS, skin infections, safe drinking water, sanitation and local endemic diseases.
As of September 15, CWS along with the World Health Organisation initiated a diarrhoea treatment centre which is fully operational.
Longer term plans
Our partner CWS Pakistan is already planning to help communities' long term recovery. It will provide training in construction trades to enable people rebuild their homes.
In order to help restart farming and small business, vouchers to buy seeds and tools and cash grants will be provided for families, and the presence of healthcare units will continue.
Another important part of the recovery programme will be helping communities reduce their vulnerability to future disasters.
More information including reports from CWS staff member Nick Clarke who has just returned from a four week secondment in Pakistan can be found here: http://www.cws.org.nz/what-can-i-do/emergencies/pakistan-flooding
Donations can be sent to PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8143 or made online
Ensuring Better Humanitarian Response
CWS welcomed Barb Wigley from the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) of which CWS is the first New Zealand member. While in Aotearoa, Barb outlined the history of the organisation. It developed from the exploitation, abuse and non-accountability in Africa’s Great Lakes region after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda where Hutu and Tutsi were housed in the same refugee camps, for example. More recently HAP found that some of the camp committees set up after Haiti’s earthquakes were made up of the country’s sophisticated criminal network and instead of helping those most vulnerable, funds were being siphoned off to their members and families without the knowledge of those running the camp.
The tendency of agencies to rush in and take over without concern for those affected has caused considerable harm. HAP is improving the response through the development of measurable standards. The benchmarks are continually revised and agencies seek to improve their accountability to those whom they want to assist.
The Benchmarks for the HAP 2007 Standard
1. The agency shall establish a humanitarian quality management system.
2. the agency shall make the following information publicly available to intended beneficiaries, disaster-affected communities, agency staff and other specified stakeholders: (a) organisational background; (b) humanitarian accountability framework; (c) humanitarian plan: (d) progress reports; and (e) complaints handling procedures.
3. The agency shall enable beneficiaries and their representatives to participate in programme decisions and seek their informed consent.
4. The agency shall determine the competencies, attitudes and development needs of staff required to implement its humanitarian quality management system.
5. The agency shall establish and implement complaints-handling procedures that are effective, accessible and safe for intended beneficiaries, disaster-affected communities, agency staff, humanitarian partners and other specified bodies.
6. The agency shall establish a process of continual improvement for its humanitarian accountability framework and humanitarian quality management system.
For more information on HAP see: www.hapinternational.org
Giving that Works
CWS has added new gifts to its Gifted range just in time for Christmas. As well as the ever popular goats and water, you can now give a beehive, footballs and books, a barefoot lawyer or pigs. There is something for everyone. So give a fun git this Christmas and help the work of CWS partners around the world. You will receive a card and paper magnet to give your chosen recipients. Check out the new website for online ordering: www.gift.org.nz or contact CWS for a new catalogue: email@example.com or phone 0800 74 73 72
This year’s 65th Christmas Appeal invites supporters to Share the Care. It tells stories from partner groups working in Haiti, Gaza, Uganda and Tonga to bring health and healing to communities. Posters, leaflets, worship resources and other material are available from firstname.lastname@example.org and downloadable at our new website: www.christmasappeal.org.nz
We are also looking for help to further promote this key appeal. Please contact email@example.com or phone 0800 74 73 72 if you know of display places for posers and appeal envelopes. Encourage your church or organisation to link with the special Christmas Appeal website.
New Advent Calendar
A new feature of the 2010 Christmas Appeal is the CWS Advent calendar. It is a wonderful activity for your parish, school or family to help children focus on the lesson of sharing and caring at Christmas. As they open the windows they will learn how their donations are bringing hope and healing to the world. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0800 74 73 72 to order.
The latest edition of CWS’s children’s magazine invites them to Share the Care with a particular focus on a school lunch programme in Zvishavane, Zimbabwe supported by CWS. It is full of cartoons, puzzles and activities that help 7- 12 year olds beat the Hunger Monster. A Leader’s Kit provides further activities and ideas for lessons. Copies can be ordered from: email@example.com
Haiti Cholera Outbreak
ACT Alliance efforts are helping to prevent the spread of the cholera in Haiti. Over 250 people have died since the disease was identified in the Artibonite and Central departments or provinces, late October.
Preventive measures are being taken in project areas where CWS-supported work is underway in order to prevent the infection spreading around the country and particularly to the capital Port-au-Prince and other metropolitan areas. Humanitarian workers working in the Artibonite department - an area where cholera has been confirmed - are assessing clean-water needs at agricultural cooperatives. At a gathering of beneficiaries of a disabled persons' programme in Port-au-Prince, on Sunday, Oct. 24 humanitarian workers formally underlined the importance of safe hygiene and health safety techniques to prevent the spread of diseases. In camps across Port-au-Prince, ACT Alliance partners are putting in a variety of preventative measures including distributing chlorine, regular cleaning of latrines and sharing information on how to respond if people think they are infected. Water purification tablets have been ordered and will be distributed in camps and schools in the coming weeks.
The most effective ways to prevent the disease spreading are basic hygiene practices, such as clean drinking water and active hand washing, as well as cleanliness of sanitation facilities, say ACT personnel in Haiti. The key issues needed now are: effective prevention and mitigation measures across the country, information-sharing and active mobilization with the local people, and effective medical response.
In addition to the active response given in the communities, ACT Alliance members in Haiti have held meetings with partners and their staff to raise awareness of the cholera outbreak, and stocked rehydration salts, antibiotics, water and hygiene items. All efforts are being carried out in close cooperation and coordination with government of Haiti agencies working in the areas of health and water/sanitation, and with UN agencies.
More help is urgently needed. Donations to the Haiti Appeal can be sent to PO Box 22652, Christchurch 8143 or made online
CWS is supporting a travelling exhibition of artwork from Gaza, Palestine. Long time CWS partner, the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees of the Middle East Council of Churches has brought together the work of old and young, children and adults, Muslim and Christian, to enable Australians and New Zealanders to see what the artists have to say about their situation.
The featured painting is by 14 year old Maha Abu Khusa. She says “My painting is about Jerusalem where blood is flowing. It asks about the sunshine that should be in our lives and the distant hope we all have that the world will remember us and give us freedom.”
The exhibition will be at St Matthew’s in the City, Auckland on 6/7 November, at St John the Evangelist Cathedral in Napier from 13 – 21 November, and subsequently at the Cathedral of St Paul in Wellington. It is hoped that the exhibition will also make it to Dunedin.
The paintings can also be viewed in an extensive Australian catalogue of the exhibition.