We are often shocked when hearing news about war, natural disaster and that often results mass displacement that suddenly destroy the livelihoods of whole population groups. Or even in invisible emergencies, the slow but constant deterioration of living conditions are what require urgent humanitarian intervention.
Interventions, whether dealing with nutrition, water and sanitation or food security, are at the heart of our mandate
In emergencies caused by natural disasters (flooding, etc) or massive displacement due to waves of violence, the change from normality to the crisis situation tends to take place in a few hours or days. There are, however, other “silent” emergencies that are the outcome of the progressive deterioration of a population’s living conditions.
Our approach to Emergency:
Before an emergency, we aims to be prepared and to prepare the most vulnerable populations in order to minimize damage when a crisis takes place. For this reason, it designs and updates contingency plans that analysis all the risks of a specific context and anticipates different responses to different scenarios.
In face of emergency we adopt the following action:
- Prevention means community have access to early warning systems, water level measuring equipment and radio equipment for sharing this data and raising the alarm when necessary.
- Mitigation provide community with small-scale construction projects such as retaining walls to stop the water from overflowing.
- Preparation means the community will know the evacuation options and first aid in order to minimize damage.
Appropriate emergency intervention
- Alert: the alert is activated. The Emergency Team in charge of the specific geographic area gather as much information as possible about the affected area, the number of victims, the population and local institutions’ response capacity and the humanitarian agents present in the area.
- Quick decisions: The Emergency team and the Executive Committee quickly assess the information and decide whether to implement the emergency measures.
- Mobilization: we can mobilize partners, companies and private donors for the emergency funding.
- Initial delivery: the emergency team and the material are sent to the affected area, whether on commercial flights or on planes specially chartered for the emergency.
- Quick needs assessment: first-hand information is collected and we coordinate with humanitarian actors in the area in order to establish the intervention area and the target population
- Intervention: the initial intervention tends to include establishing safe water points, emergency latrines, distributing hygiene kits and staple materials (blankets, water cans, cooking equipment). Food items which is normally bought in the capital or in the local market
Post-emergency and rehabilitation
Even though the population’s basic needs have been covered, our work is not over. After a period of time there is much left to do to return the community to the situation they were before the crisis. Normally, infrastructure and crop-growing systems need to be re-built. These interventions can begin three weeks after the disaster and carry on for six weeks or even a year.
Main activities at emergency are
- Distribution of hygiene kits and basic goods
- Distribution of food
- Distribution of drinking water using tankers
- Installation of water purification plants
- Nutritional centers
- Post-disaster rehabilitation