All posts by Wilkin

Response to Flooding in South Africa

Heavy Flooding Prompts ADRA Response in South Africa

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is providing relief assistance in South Africa where widespread storms and floods have affected eight of the country’s nine provinces, leaving more than 80 people dead and injuring 375 others.

ADRA’s operation aims to reduce the risk of highly contagious waterborne diseases and meet the hygiene needs of affected residents through the distribution of hydration packs and hygiene kits to more than 1,155 families. These kits include water purification tablets, jerry cans, bath soap, laundry soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, pampers, female hygiene products and facial tissues.

The initial emergency response will take place in Northern Cape Province where floods resulted from the overflow of the Orange and Vaal rivers, two of South Africa’s largest rivers. According to government reports, the floods have damaged some 8,000 homes, affected more than 1,100 families in the Northern Cape Province alone and caused havoc in 33 district municipalities in eight provinces.

To further combat the spread of waterborne diseases, ADRA is prepared to distribute 40,000 water purification tablets, which will provide the equivalent of 264,172 gallons of water (1 million liters), as each tablet can purify up to 6.6 gallons (25 liters). ADRA is also coordinating hygiene related activities with selected members of each community who will help raise awareness regarding proper hygiene and sanitation practices in order to protect residents from possible infection.

The devastating storms, which were caused by cooler ocean temperatures, are linked to the reoccurring weather pattern called La Niña. The storms associated with this weather pattern have hovered above South Africa since mid-December, drenching the country with an unusually high amount of rainfall.

Rebuilding in Haiti

ADRA Relocates Displaced Haitians Living on Dangerous Road Median

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Hundreds of people who had been living in precarious makeshift shacks in the middle of a busy Port-au-Prince road since last year’s deadly Haiti earthquake are now staying in safe new shelters provided by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the agency reported.

Click here to listen to a National Public Radio broadcast about this project.

With funding from the United States Agency for International Development Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), ADRA built 160 transitional shelters to accommodate some of the most vulnerable families living in the middle of a heavily traveled four-lane road that cuts through Carrefour, a densely populated neighborhood in the southern part of Port-au-Prince.

“Yes, I like it,” said Louise, a 50-year old woman who spent a year living with her husband and four children in a small tin shelter on the median before receiving a new shelter.

After the January 12, 2010 quake, hundreds of thousands of displaced Haitians who lost their homes or who were too afraid to return to them for fear of further collapse built impromptu shelters wherever they could find empty land. For many people, however, finding appropriate shelter became difficult. That meant turning to places such as streets or unsafe road medians to ensure a place to live.

Within days, hundreds of tightly packed tin and tarp-covered shelters mushroomed in one of Carrefour’s main thoroughfares, each structure covering the entire width of the median as heavy traffic rushed by on either side.

“No, it was not good because a lot of cars,” said Louise, adding that the living conditions also made them get sick often.

As the camp swelled to more than 3,800 people, the dangers of being struck by oncoming traffic also grew. Residents placed large rocks, cinder blocks, tires, and debris along the road to create a buffer zone between the tiny shelters and the passing cars and trucks. But even those measures could not entirely protect them. According to a camp leader, more than 30 people were struck during the months following the quake and 10 died, among them three children.

“It’s not living. It’s not living. They are just there,” Carrefour mayor Yvon Jerome told a New York City-based CBS television crew who was reporting on the issue a few weeks ago.

On January 14 ADRA inaugurated the new shelter community on a flat coastline area in Carrefour. According to Paulo Lutke, the ADRA project manager who oversaw the construction of the shelters, each beneficiary family received a number that corresponded with the shelter they would occupy. Eager to locate their new shelters, people ran with excitement, Lutke said.

“Tears came from my eyes thinking that we have so much and many times we are not so excited and thankful as these people who received a small temporary shelter,” said Lutke afterward.

The USAID OFDA-funded shelter program, which culminated with the inauguration of this latest shelter community, helped build more than 2,600 shelters in various parts of Port-au-Prince at a cost of approximately $1,000 per structure. Each shelter was constructed using plywood walls, cement floors, and a tin roof, and is expected to be usable for up to five years.

To contribute to ADRA’s global humanitarian efforts, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org.

Follow ADRA on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest information as it happens.

ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

For more information, visit www.adra.org

Food Security for South Sudan

ADRA Providing Increased Support to Vulnerable Areas in Southern Sudan

SILVER SPRING, Md. – As the results of a historic referendum in Southern Sudan were announced on January 31 effectively declaring independence from the north after decades of hostilities, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is continuing the implementation of a multi-year project to provide better health, nutrition and empowerment to more than half a million vulnerable people.

The three-year $55.7 million-worth Southern Sudan Health, Nutrition and Empowerment (SSHiNE) program will focus on addressing some of the most pressing issues facing Southern Sudan, including extremely high malnutrition rates among young children, high child and maternal mortality rates, poor water and sanitation access, high incidence of childhood and water-borne diseases, lack of health services and trained medical staff, low literacy rates especially among women, and pervasive gender inequality.

This program is centered in Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal, Warrap, and Upper Nile, three of the country’s most vulnerable states where high numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been identified as a result of decades of civil war with the north. Today, Southern Sudan hosts the greatest number of IDPs in the world. So far less than half of the 4.2 million displaced during the war have returned home. Of that number more than 400,000 have so far settled in Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal and many others in neighboring Warrap, according to USAID.

This post-war influx of returnees has caused increased food insecurity and widespread chronic malnutrition due to the fact that most households are not able to cultivate crops or are doing so on a limited basis. It has also strained local health services and brought attention to the need for better access to medical care and trained health professionals. An improvement in water and sanitation access has also been identified, and a need to increase literacy rates among women, which in this region rank among the lowest in the world.

SSHiNE’s strategy will concentrate on reducing malnutrition in children under the age of five by improving feeding and consumption practices among infants, young children, and pregnant and lactating women. In addition, the program will aim to decrease prevalence of illnesses, especially childhood diseases, by improving access to and the use of quality health care services and increase the practice of appropriate health and hygiene behaviors. ADRA expects also to enhance women’s empowerment within households and communities by increasing the active participation of women in community leadership and their shared control over household resources.

The SSHiNE program, which is expected to be completed by June 2013, is being implemented with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and with the collaboration of a consortium of international partners, including Food for the Hungry International, Concern Worldwide, Malaria Consortium, and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; and local partners Assistance Mission to Africa, Nile Hope Development Forum (NHDF), and Aweil Community Development Organization (ACDO). Direct beneficiaries will include more than 500,000 people, among them some 40,000 children, and 504,000 indirect beneficiaries.

Sudan’s long-running war—the longest in Africa—claimed the lives of an estimated two million people and displaced more than four million others during the war’s duration between 1955 and 1972 and 1983 to 2005. In early January 2011, a referendum to determine southern secession from the north was held, following the terms of a 2005 peace agreement. While the war ended six years ago, returnees to Southern Sudan have often found themselves facing new challenges, such as economic difficulties, high rates of unemployment, increased food, water and health insecurity, and localized conflicts.

To contribute to ADRA’s global humanitarian efforts, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org.

Follow ADRA on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest information as it happens.

ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

For more information, visit www.adra.org

OFDA Grant Awarded

Brazil: New Grant Aids in Relief Efforts for Mudslide Victims

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has been awarded a $135,000 grant by the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) to continue assisting persons affected by the recent devastating mudslides in Brazil. The grant will further ADRA’s current work of delivering aid to survivors in some of the worst hit areas.

The recently awarded grant from the OFDA will be used over a period of three months and will provide 15,000 individuals (650 households) with urgently needed non-emergency food items (NFIs) such as hygiene kits and cooking utensils. The distribution will target displaced persons within Rio de Janeiro, one of the country’s worst affected areas.

In addition to the recent OFDA grant, the ADRA network is implementing a project valued over $100,000 to provide hygiene kits, blankets and bed sheets to 900 families in the Rio de Janeiro and Ninas Gerias states. The hygiene kits will be able to meet the hygienic needs of a family of five for up to one month and are composed of toothbrushes, bathing soap, infant soap, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, combs, sanitary pads, and washing soap.

The heavy rains that fell over the southeastern parts of Brazil inflicted widespread flooding and mudslides, leveling homes, sweeping away cars, and causing extensive road damage. To date, the mudslides have left hundreds dead and thousands more displaced.

To send your contribution to ADRA’s Brazil Flood Response Fund, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org.

Follow ADRA on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest information as it happens.

ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

For more information, visit www.adra.org

Food Aid to the Displaced

Côte d’Ivoire: ADRA Assisting Families Displaced by Post-Election Violence

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The recent post-election violence in the West African nation of Côte d’Ivoire, which has left more than 250 dead and forced thousands to flee their homes to escape the political crisis and inter-ethnic clashes, has prompted the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to begin delivering food aid to hundreds of displaced families.

Working in coordination with local partners, ADRA will distribute food rations to newly displaced persons in the western town of Duékoué, an area where fighting erupted recently after the shooting death of a local businesswoman. This incident triggered fatal inter-ethnic clashes that resulted in the deaths of 34 people, the looting and burning of more than 400 houses and shops, and the significant increase of displaced persons.

ADRA’s operation will target 250 families directly affected by the recent crisis. Each household will receive a 14-day food ration for five people that contains a combination of rice, beans, vegetable oil, and corn soymilk. ADRA has assembled the rations taking the basic nutritional requirements into account, ensuring each beneficiary will receive the required caloric intake. Priority is being given to pregnant and lactating women, chronically ill residents, the elderly, and disabled persons. According to local sources, more than two-thirds of the 9,500 people currently displaced in that area are women, children and elderly people.

In late November 2010, Côte d’Ivoire began experiencing an escalation of political unrest following a highly disputed presidential election in which the two main candidates claimed victory. As a result, there has been an increase in attacks of political supporters and a rise in human rights violations.

To send your contribution to ADRA’s Emergency Response Fund, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org.

Follow ADRA on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest information as it happens.

ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

For more information, visit www.adra.org

Response to Flooding in Australia

Australia: ADRA Responds to Severe Flooding in Queensland

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia has committed AUD$100,000 towards relief efforts in response to the disastrous floods, which have turned approximately three fourths of the northeastern state of Queensland into a disaster zone.

In response to the devastating flooding, which has already left more than 30 people dead and caused upwards of US$20 billion in damages, ADRA Australia has already assisted hundreds of people with emergency accommodation in three separate shelters in northern New South Wales state, one of the areas closest to the devastation. Additionally, ADRA has provided food, clothing and blankets to those affected through the assistance of ADRA Op Shops, a community service program.

ADRA Australia continues to work with state and local governments to develop programs that will address the immediate needs of flood-affected communities and post-flood cleanup efforts, which are expected to take time.

ADRA will continue to release updates as response efforts expand.

To send your contribution to ADRA’s Emergency Response Fund, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org.

Follow ADRA on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest information as it happens.

ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

For more information, visit www.adra.org

Flooding in Brazil

ADRA Delivering Aid to Survivors of Brazil’s Worst Flooding

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Following extensive flooding that has so far left more than 700 people dead in Brazil’s mountainous state of Rio de Janeiro, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is delivering relief aid to survivors in some of the worst hit areas.

To meet the immediate needs of survivors, ADRA is providing essential hygiene kits to benefit 400 households, or approximately 2,000 people, who were left homeless by mudslides. This assistance, which includes toothbrushes, bathing soap, infant soap, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, combs, sanitary pads, and washing soap, is expected to meet the hygiene needs of a family of five for up to a month.

In addition, a $100,000 donation from the United States Embassy in Brasilia will also help ADRA deliver additional assistance to affected families in the region.

ADRA is working closely with local government authorities, the Civil Defense, and trained volunteers to ensure efficient distribution of relief materials. Priority is being given to women-headed families, families with disabled children or elderly dependents, and families whose members were directly impacted.

In early January, heavy rainfall saturated mountainsides causing a series of mudslides that affected several towns in the state, including Teresópolis, Nova Friburgo, Petrópolis, Sumidouro and São José do Vale do Rio Preto.

The inundation of the region’s Santo Antonio River resulted in extensive flooding and mudslides, which leveled homes, swept away cars, toppled electrical lines and caused extensive road damage. Throughout the state, large urban areas were buried under tons of rocks, sand and debris. In some neighborhoods, it is feared that hundreds of residents may still be buried under the sludge. According to the United Nations, the recent mudslides rank among the 10 worst in the world.

To send your contribution to ADRA’s Brazil Flood Response Fund, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org.

Follow ADRA on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest information as it happens.

ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

For more information, visit www.adra.org

ADRA Report: Haiti One Year Later

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Exactly one year has passed since the devastating earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti on January 12, 2010.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has provided more than USD$4 million in aid, personnel and assets to assist Haitian survivors in the months since the earthquake.

Through out the twelve months that has passed since the January earthquake, ADRA has been focused on managing displaced persons camps, water purification, food, the distribution of non-food items, sanitation and hygiene, psychosocial support, education, and semi-permanent shelters. The international news program 60 minutes, a news program aired on the CBS network, highlighted ADRA’s work.

To see the 60 minutes segment click here.

To date, ADRA has built over 2,500 shelters for displace families, benefitting more than 15,000 displaced persons. These efforts have been focused in the Carrefour district, just outside the city of Port au Prince, close to the epicenter of the quake. The following list of activities briefly summarizes ADRA’s work over the past year:

Camp Management:

  • ADRA managed a camp of more than 20,000 displaced Haitians in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Carrefour.
  • Activities included the training of zonal community leaders and counselors, providing security, water, health and psychosocial programs, food, and non-food item distributions.

Water:

  • ADRA and Canada-based partner GlobalMedic purified more than 130,000 liters of water a day in Carrefour during the initial phase of the response using 64 water purification units, including 62 motorcycle-powered mobile units.
  • The mobile units were dispatched to approximately 50 sites a day in Carrefour, Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, and Cap Haitian.
  • Assistance also included more than 5 million water purification tablets, 110,000 water purification sachets, 55,000 Oral Rehydration Salt units, and 86,000 Aquatabs donated by UNICEF.
  • Since the earthquake, ADRA has purified more than 18 million liters of water.
  • A water purification system called Nomad continues to purify and provide nearly 50,000 liters of clean water each day to the ADRA-managed camp in Carrefour.

Food:

  • ADRA worked with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to distribute 4,802 metric tons of food to more than 776,000 people during three massive food distributions between January and March.
  • A donation of 16.5 tons of baby food from Germany was distributed in the Carrefour camp.

Non-food Items:

  • ADRA distributed more than 50,000 non-food items to earthquake survivors, including shoes, hygiene kits, jerry cans, kitchen sets, shelter tool kits, solar light kits, tarps, tool kits, medicines, and flashlights. Upcoming distributions include mattress pads, blankets, and mosquito nets.

Sanitation and Hygiene:

  • A total of 75 latrines were built in six camps and one permanent latrine was improved benefitting a total of 3,396 families. The project also provided cash-for-work for 86 individuals who dug the latrine holes.
  • ADRA constructed 95 new bathing places and rehabilitated one previous bathing space in eight camps, assisting 7,241 families.
  • ADRA secured support from UNICEF to provide 221 mobile latrines and daily servicing of waste removal from mid-March until the end of June. In July, ADRA received 150 mobile latrines from the Clinton Foundation on behalf of UNICEF.
  • A team of 50 sanitation workers from among the camp population cleaned the sanitation facilities twice a day.
  • ADRA constructed two solid waste pits and employed a team of 50 from the camp to pick up and collect waste on a daily basis.
  • Eight cash-for-work projects where completed, benefitting 169 workers with livelihood support.
  • Some 15 truckloads of trash were removed from one camp in Carrefour.
  • Seven camps received tools for camp cleaning.
  • A total of 35 stations were built for laundry washing.
  • ADRA built a bridge to improve the safety and convenience of camp residents walking to collect filtered water.

Health:

  • Between January and mid-April, ADRA operated two free primary medical clinics in the Carrefour camp. One was set-up inside a mobile tent and the other in a local primary school in Carrefour. During this period, more than 7,000 people received assistance. After April, the two mobile clinics were consolidated and have so far treated more than 5,500 patients.
  • ADRA conducted a one-month immunization campaign, which vaccinated more than 12,000 infants, children and adults with vaccine materials provided by the World Health Organization.
  • ADRA community health nurses were based in each of the 12 designated zones inside the Carrefour camp. They were trained to triage patients, recognize infant and child malnutrition, and to educate mothers in lactation and optimum nutrition.
  • Cholera prevention education project trained individuals in the community of Carrefour on preventative measures and emergency treatment of the disease.

Psychosocial:

  • Between February and early April, ADRA ran Child Friendly Spaces in the Carrefour camp, involving 200 children each day who participated in various activity centers. A second phase targeted 220 children in two other camps.
  • ADRA tracked unaccompanied minors living in the camp, including supporting host families who cared for these minors.
  • In May, a Training of Trainers program was conducted in two additional camps in Carrefour, where ADRA operated Child Friendly Spaces.
  • From February to April, a team of 50 peer counselors worked in the Carrefour camp to advise families on post-trauma issues. Another team of advanced psychology students also provided group and individual counseling to families.

Education:

  • ADRA installed 30 tent classrooms at 13 educational institutions. These were outfitted with 301 school desks and 101 chalkboards. A total of 4,845 school kits were distributed to the students.
  • From June to August, 250 non-schooling children and teens from the Carrefour camp participated in afternoon non-continuing education classes. ADRA provided tents, benches, uniforms, and school supply kits.
  • Information, education, and communication materials were distributed in Carrefour, including brochures on proper mosquito net use, shelter weather proofing, and facts about the earthquake.
  • More than 120 adults participated in an adult literacy and numeracy program between June and August.

Shelter:

  • ADRA provided 900 large family-size tents throughout Haiti, including 453 in Carrefour.
  • More than 2,700 semi-permanent shelters have been constructed in Carrefour and Petit-Goave

ADRA’s focus remains on the long-term reconstruction of Haiti. Operating in Haiti for 30 years, ADRA is committed to the Haitian people and their country’s recovery.

To contribute to ADRA’s life-saving work, call 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org.

Follow ADRA on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest information as it happens.

ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

For more information, visit www.adra.org