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Emergency Management

Rising Humanitarian Needs Call for a New Way of Working

           

portland-communications.com - by Stephen O'Brien - March 14, 2017

Today, a record 135 million people across 35 countries need humanitarian aid to survive. The scale of humanitarian suffering continues to grow exponentially as complex, inter-connected conflicts last for years without resolution, and protracted natural disasters, compounded by climate change, throw vulnerable people into a state of perpetual crisis.

This year a complex combination of human-made and environmental factors has put a staggering 20 million people in four countries alone – Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen – at risk of famine.  To provide sustainable solutions to saving lives and building resilience in these countries and globally, the international community needs to shift its approach by putting vulnerability reduction at the centre of our collaboration.

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UN Calls for Support to Recovery Plan as Haiti Loses $2.7 Billion in Hurricane Matthew

           

Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti causing widespread damage in the western cities of Les Cayes and Jeremie. Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

un.org

6 March 2017 – The United Nations office dedicated to disaster risk reduction today called for urgent support to improve disaster risk management in Haiti, following a damage assessment that shows the country lost $2.7 billion, or 32 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), as a result of Hurricane Matthew six months ago.

“Hurricane Matthew revealed disturbing truths about least developed countries which lack the capacity to respond adequately to climate change and the rising intensity and frequency of weather-related disasters,” said the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Robert Glasser in a press release.

His call came on the eve of the 5th Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, which opens in Montreal, Canada, tomorrow.

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The Murky Future of Nuclear Power in the United States

A view into Unit 4 at the Alvin W. Vogtle generating station in Georgia. The complex plans to use AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse. Credit via Georgia Power

Image: A view into Unit 4 at the Alvin W. Vogtle generating station in Georgia. The complex plans to use AP1000 reactors from Westinghouse. Credit via Georgia Power

nytimes.com - February 18th 2017 - Diane Cardwell

This was supposed to be America’s nuclear century.

The Three Mile Island meltdown was two generations ago. Since then, engineers had developed innovative designs to avoid the kinds of failures that devastated Fukushima in Japan. 

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The Mission to Stop Ebola: Lessons for UN Crisis Response

CLICK HERE - International Peace Institute - The Mission to Stop Ebola: Lessons for UN Crisis Response (28 page .PDF report)

reliefweb.int - February 15, 2017
ADAM LUPEL AND MICHAEL SNYDER

Executive Summary

The Ebola epidemic of 2014–2016 was a fastmoving, multidimensional emergency that pre - sented unprecedented challenges for the multi - lateral system. In response to the outbreak, which was spreading exponentially in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established the UN’s first-ever emergency health mission, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). UNMEER was mandated by the UN General Assembly in September 2014 to scale up and coordinate the activities of the UN presence on the ground working to stop the outbreak, which eventually claimed over 11,000 lives.

This report asks: Was UNMEER needed? Was it properly structured? Did it deliver? And what broader lessons can be learned from the experience of UNMEER for UN crisis response?

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Recovering from Disasters: Social Networks Matter More Than Bottled Water and Batteries

submitted by Joyce Fedeczko

           

Survivors leave Tohoku a day after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Warren Antiola/Flickr

theconversation.com - by Daniel P. Aldrich

Standard advice about preparing for disasters focuses on building shelters and stockpiling things like food, water and batteries. But resilience - the ability to recover from shocks, including natural disasters - comes from our connections to others, and not from physical infrastructure or disaster kits.

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UN Humanitarian Wing OCHA Lays Off 170, Starts Overhaul

           

Stephen O'Brien visits a camp in Saint Saveur, Central African Republic. Nektarios Markogiannis/MINUSCA

CLICK HERE - OCHA Functional Review - Final Report - 29 July 2016 (155 page .PDF report)

irinnews.org - by Samuel Oakford - 16 January 2017

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will reduce spending by at least $20 million in 2017. The 10-percent cuts, including at least 173 staff layoffs, come along with an internal reform process sparked by a damning independent review.

In notes dated November addressed to OCHA staff and exclusively reported by IRIN, its head – UN humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien – said donors hadn’t met growing demands.

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UN - Office of Internal Oversight Services - Internal Audit Reports
(click on the link below, and scroll to the bottom . . . click on page 2 for the most recently published .PDFs)
https://oios.un.org/page?slug=report

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7 Forgotten World Crises That Urgently Need Your Support

           

ANDRES MARTINEZ CASARES/REUTERS

The world’s humanitarian needs are growing. So is the aid gap.

huffingtonpost.com - by Jesselyn Cook - January 13, 2017

The global need for humanitarian aid has reached a level not seen since World War II. More than 128 million people in 33 countries are now affected by crises, including conflict and natural disaster . . . 

 . . . Despite the worsening nature of many of the world’s crises, internet traffic reveals “public fatigue” ― a decline in interest ― for the first time in three years, according to U.N. data. And, as the world’s humanitarian needs grow, the gap between funds needed and funds raised has widened.

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Haiti Receives 82 Tons of Urgently Needed Medical Aid

           

Direct Relief staff stage hundreds of pallets bound for Haiti in the organization’s Santa Barbara warehouse on Dec. 20, 2016. The shipment, valued at $39.9 million, is the largest in the organization’s 69-year history.

directrelief.org

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Dec. 28, 2016 – Direct Relief today airlifted 82 tons of medical aid to Haiti to help treat cholera and other diseases that have spread widely since Hurricane Matthew struck in October, incapacitating the country’s already overstretched health care system.

Direct Relief’s warehouse staff worked through the holidays to prepare 258 pallets of essential medications and supplies with a wholesale value of $39.9 million. The shipment – the largest by value in Direct Relief’s 69-year history – traveled by a chartered cargo jet from Los Angeles to Port-au-Prince.

Dozens of health care companies that support Direct Relief’s humanitarian health efforts contributed the supplies, augmented by funds contributed by donors to Direct Relief specifically for Hurricane Matthew assistance.

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Haiti: UN’s New Approach on Cholera Puts People at Heart of the Response

submitted by John Carroll

                                         

un.org

30 November 2016 – The response to cholera in Haiti will be a “long and thorough battle,” but the United Nations will stand by the Haitian people and authorities, Stéphane Dujarric, the Spokesman for the Secretary-General, on the eve of the launch of the Organization's new approach to tackling the epidemic in the country.

The new approach was announced last August and will be launched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, 1 December. It includes rapid interventions in areas where cases are reported and the prevention of future high-risk public health crises.

The new approach on cholera also focuses on people and proposes the establishment of a program of material assistance and support to Haitians directly affected by the disease.

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Haiti: UN Special Adviser Calls for ‘Robust’ Hurricane Response to Tackle ‘Extremely Difficult’ Situation

           

United Nations Special Adviser David Nabarro meeting and supporting people in Jeremie, Haiti, which was severely affected by Hurricane Matthew. Photo: UN Haiti

un.org

18 October 2016 – Hurricane Matthew, which ripped through Haiti 13 days ago, has left more than 700,000 people in an “extremely difficult situation,” United Nations Special Adviser David Nabarro said today, and while steady progress is being made, led by Haitians themselves, the response must be accelerated as the needs are still great, frustrations are high, and access to hard-hit areas remains tough.

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