Relief International

RI provides emergency relief, rehabilitation and development assistance to victims of natural disasters and civil conflicts worldwide. RI's programs bridge the gap between immediate and long-term community development. This orientation promotes self-reliance and the peaceful reintegration of populations. RI's programs are designed with the input and participation of target beneficiary groups such as women, children and the elderly, whose special needs are often neglected in disasters.
Jun 16, 2014

Typhoon Haiyan Relief Update 6.16.14

In the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, many families were left without clean water or functioning sanitation. In the months since, Relief International’s team has been hard at work to restore access to water and rebuild sanitation infrastructure on the island of Leyte, one of the areas most devastated by the storm. To date, our team has provided 5,000 water kits (consisting of water containers and purification tablets) to families, reaching more than 25,000 people, and built more than 1,600 latrines in 33 barangays (small villages/districts). We’re also conducting community hygiene promotion to ensure effective use of facilities and instill healthy habits. We emphasize the importance of community involvement and ownership of projects to ensure communities have the capacity built up to continue maintenance of their new water and sanitation facilities in the future.

One of the communities RI worked with was Balud, a remote and difficult to reach barangay that was severely affected by Haiyan. In the midst of the storm, many families lost their homes and livelihoods, and being so remote, Balud was struggling to rebuild. For the people of Balud, the only source of drinking water was a spring that flowed though a water reservoir severely damaged by the storm. The only two ways they could reach the spring, separated from them by a channel, were difficult and treacherous. When the tide was low, they could cross over the creek using a nearly-collapsed bridge. Yet when the tide turned and the water rose high over the bridge, the villagers had no choice but to guide their boats to the other side. The reservoir had leaking tubes and the water was likely contaminated, but the community had no choice. With the help of the barangay officials, RI acted fast to help improve Balud’s water system. A connection was established from the water reservoir to the center of the barangay, making it accessible to everyone. RI and the community organized a local barangay water and sanitation team to help maintain the system in the future.

Our team is also working to establish long-term solutions to rebuild livelihoods and establish productive communities. Some of the areas most devastated by Haiyan include the top-producing coconut regions of Samar and Leyte. RI is currently working on long-term solutions to prevent future devastation to the coconut industry and support small farmers in building self-reliance in the process. Through pilot projects, we’re working with local communities to implement an intercropping scheme. Coconut trees take several years to mature so intercropping will allow farmers to have a source of income from several other crops as they wait for the trees reach maturity. Our team is also working to implement an intercropping planting scheme that will allow for strengthening the coconut trees’ resistance to high winds and future disasters such as Haiyan.

These are some of many success stories as the people of the Philippines rebuild. Together we are helping families in the Philippines recover disaster and “build back better.” We thank you for your continued support.

 

Residents of Balud using their new water tap
Residents of Balud using their new water tap
A community hygiene awareness session
A community hygiene awareness session

Links:

May 5, 2014

Horn of Africa Famine Relief Update 5.3.14

A child receiving vaccinations at a RI clinic
A child receiving vaccinations at a RI clinic

Relief International was one of the first humanitarian organizations to respond to the famine crisis in 2011. RI has continued to provide vital primary health care services in Somalia. Since November, RI has supported 11 health facilities throughout south central Somalia. These health facilities give regular nutrition check-ups to identify malnourished children and send them to local feeding centers. The feeding centers provide vital nutrition supplements for malnourished children and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. After receiving care enough to recover, patients are given supplements to help them avoid falling into malnutrition soon after.

Somalia has one of the highest maternal and child mortality rates in the world. To combat Somalia’s high mortality rates, RI-supported health facilities also provide critical pre- and post-natal care to mothers, working with traditional birth attendants and midwives to ensure mothers have a healthy pregnancy, safe delivery, and a stable environment for newborns. RI also works with committed community leaders and health workers in a partnership to build local capacity and ensure improvements in maternal and child health remain long-term.

Years of conflict, drought, and insecurity have placed increased pressure on Somalia’s resources and ability to cope with disasters. Thus, in addition to addressing emergency needs, RI’s work focuses on upon long-term solutions so communities can build resilience and self-reliance so they can resist future shocks such as droughts. Our current projects range from health, nutrition, women’s protection, animal husbandry, and education to media freedom. 

Your ongoing support has made our work possible, and we thank you for helping us continue to meet the health needs of mothers and children throughout Somalia. 

Links:

Apr 23, 2014

Update on RI's Work with Syrian Refugees 4.22.14

Syria vigil at the Zaatari refugee camp
Syria vigil at the Zaatari refugee camp

Last month, global vigils were held across the world as part of the #WithSyria campaign to commemorate the third anniversary of the crisis in Syria. Thousands of people across the world stood up together, shining a unified light in solidarity with the people of Syria. In the Zaatari refugee camp of North Jordan, members of Relief International attended vigils of candles alighted and balloons aloft to demonstrate unwavering commitment to the millions of men, women, and children of Syria struggling to survive each day of this crisis.

This month, the ongoing crisis is tragically marked by Lebanon registering its one millionth refugee. Syrian refugees now constitute over 25 percent of Lebanon’s population. While communities inundated by the massive inflow of refugees struggle under the weight of the economic and social burdens that come with hosting so many, much-needed funding slows to a trickle for humanitarian relief efforts.

RI has remained committed to assisting displaced Syrian families and their host communities. RI’s Accelerated Learning Program continues to operate in 24 schools and five learning centers across Beirut and northern Lebanon, reaching over 7,000 children to date.

Among the million Syrian refugees in Lebanon is 12-year-old Zeinab.* Back in Syria, Zeinab was a distinguished student at her school. Now, after fleeing Syria, Zeinab lives in a tent with her family in Lebanon. When Zeinab got to Lebanon she lost her ability to concentrate and understand material in school.  She escaped the danger of the war with her family, but memories of a home torn apart remained with her. Somewhere, the distinguished student of Syria was lost. Many Syrian children like Zeinab, struggle to leave behind the trauma they experienced in Syria.

RI staff found Zeinab as she struggled through her work in school, persuading her to join RI’s Accelerated Learning Program. At first, Zeinab was lost and struggled with self-confidence, but RI staff did not give up on her.

RI’s ALP program helps children heal so they may regain their childhood and move forward to a better and brighter future. With support through RI’s program, Zeinab began to reclaim her joy in education and today she is a first level student at her school.

Your support has made our work possible—Thank you!

*Name has been changed.

Syrian students in RI
Syrian students in RI's ALP program

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