Isabelle, children are, of course, among the most vulnerable. What are the most pressing needs for child survivors now?
@Dennis this is going to be a real challenge but we have the military to help us all. American, Singaporean, Philippine and Japanese C130 aircraft and American Osprey planes are now regularly rotating through Tacloban airport and the Philippine military have set up a presence there. Commercial flights have also restarted.
while parents’ and caregivers’ energy and attentions are focused on finding shelter, food, water and emergency assistance, children are often left unsupervised in chaotic situations, increasing their susceptibility to abuse, exploitation, and harassment. children are often separated from loved ones, and exposed to levels of violence and destruction that have long term effects on their psychological and physical development.
We know this is a question for Isabelle, but Plan is also a child rights organisation. At Plan, we have found children are especially vulnerable during times of disaster, and so our efforts are focused on children. In addition to ensuring that children and their families have emergency shelter, clean drinking water and medical supplies, Plan’s work will focus on protecting children in this emergency, as well as getting children into temporary education.
childfund is providing safe spaces for children that incorporate psychosocial interventions and child-protection mechanisms.
@mildren Red Cross has tried appealing pre-rainy season in West Africa, I think - but struggled to get donor funds (if I remember rightly). This is an enduring problem - maybe a different model is needed (not sure anyone quite has the solution though)...
but we can't do it alone. we are coordinating with other organizations engaged in similar work.
Child protection is also an issue and they are at risk of violence, abuse and trauma, so we are focusing our efforts on reducing these threats to children.
we're articipating in various UN cluster meetings, coordinating with other NGOs to find out what they’re doing and where so there’s no crowding/duplication of efforts and more children ar
Exactly, it is important to work with local and national levels as well as community leaders.
@Megan That is the problem. Globally we are asking for more money for more emergencies and donors are stretched. OCHA's Dir of Ops John Ging said yesterday "We are chronically underfunded as a humanitarian community, and then when these natural disasters hit us suddenly, we don’t also have the logistical or the supplies to hand."
yes, definitely. we're working with LGUs, barangay leaders, our local partners and their network of volunteers
An important issue is International Disaster Response Law too. Govts. need the legislation in place to facilitate international aid in major emergencies. Its really encouraging that the Govt here has set up a 'one stop shop' to clear relief goods coming in within 24 hours
we've got teams on the ground doing assessment. we're trying to reach areas that haven't received much media attention to find out what really is the situation there
Accountability to the beneficiaries is one of the main priorities. We have put in place a complaints mechanism that allows the benficiaries to give us feedback about our response. We are accountable to everyone.
Important point by Tim Large. having information about essential aid is one thing, but for the thousands in evacuation centres with a very uncertain future and no homes to return to, there are not yet answers to the questions they have about how they will be supported in the months ahead
Sorry last message posted in error
@Timo I think this is proving to be a massive challenge. telcoms are down, local media has been decimated. But the govt has granted the First Response Radio a frequency (98.7 MHz FM) with a reach of six to ten kilometres from Tacloban City.
Disasters hitting Asia are getting exponentially worse. There is a lot of talk about how to respond, but could these communities have been better prepared? Do education and early warnings cut it? Even the municipal cement structures to which people were evacuated were hard hit.
In terms of shelter, what are the challenges in providing shelter for the survivors? Where are they staying now?
While we are working in the relief phase, we need to have think about the early recovery phase too.
disaster mitigation preparedness and risk reduction measures need to be incorporated into land use planning and zoning guidelines
Massive needs in emergency shelter wit 500,000 homes damaged or destroyed. tents and tarpaulins will come first followed by shelterkits - materials and tools to help families rebuild
@TRF There are close to 2000 shelters, with about half a million people living there, so accessing the shelters is one challenge.
But we may e facing a situation in places like tacloban where camps will have to be established as current evacuation centres aren't really sustainable
Re shelter - there are nearly one million displaced now and of that 600,000 are outside of evacuation centres.
@Isabelle - yes, on building back better (and perhaps in a different place if required). also perhaps a need to think about how to calibrate early warning so that people understand better the potential severity of a storm? or adjusting the message for different places or groups of people?
Water is a critical need where infrastructure has been damaged. Red Cross water and sanitation emergency response units are on the way and can provide clean water to 30,000 people a day
@megan absolutely it appears some LGUs were not able to do forced evacuations to higher and safer ground, people who live on low-lying urbanised coastal areas of islands such as leyte were not evacuated.
In Philippines people are incredibly resourceful and where they can they will be starting to rebuild their homes so getting basic items like tarpaulins as temporary roof coverings is vital
In order to to identify those in need, it is important to conduct a rapid needs assessment. At Plan, we are prioritising children, pregnant women and vulnerable families.
@patrick yes we are seeing that as early as now in ormoc. many people only stay at evacuation centers at night. during the day they return to their homes and try to rebuild with whatever materials they can find.
But before we can rebuild we need to get all the debris removed which is a mammoth task. A large scale cash for work programme needs to start immediately to clear access routes for relief teams so they can get around the city and build shelter,
True - in Aceh after the 2004 Tsunami people simply couldn't return to their homes villages, there was nothing left. Similar story in tacloban I think so alternatives will have to be found like transitional shelters elsewhere