Mar 22, 2018

CARE Responds to Papua New Guinea Earthquake

Delivering Supplies
Delivering Supplies

CARE emergency teams in Papua New Guinea were on the ground assessing the damage caused by this month’s powerful magnitude-7.5 earthquake, and have began distributing relief supplies.

Australian aid worker Anna Bryan, CARE’s Program Director in PNG, said access to affected areas remained a huge challenge.

“Many of the places hardest hit are still only accessible by helicopter. Landslides have cut off road access and telecommunications are still down in many areas,” Ms Bryan said.

“This area is extremely remote and it’s going to be extraordinarily difficult to get relief supplies to communities in need.”

Working with local authorities and community partners, as well as the Australian Defence Force, CARE has begun distributing water containers and purification tablets, as well as soap, detergent and other hygiene items.

“We know water sources have been contaminated and there’s a high risk of diseases outbreaks,” Ms Bryan said.

“We’re conducting assessments of people’s immediate needs so we can make sure aid gets where it’s needed most.

“We know food gardens have been wiped out, which is devastating for families in this region who are primarily subsistence farmers.”

Close to half a million people are estimated to have been affected by the disaster. While official figures are yet to be confirmed, it is believed more than 100 people were killed in the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.

CARE is an international humanitarian aid organisation, and has been working in PNG since 1989. Last year, CARE directly reached more than 14 million people through humanitarian response work.

Sep 27, 2017

Syrian Refugee Crisis: CARE at the front lines

In Syria, 13.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and an estimated 6.3 million have been forced to flee to a different part of the country, often more than once. Since the start of 2017, an intensification in the conflict has complicated humanitarian access to large numbers of hard-to-reach Syrians. CARE and other humanitarian actors continually modify our response strategy as needed in view of the higher risk. We continue to work with a network of local partners that have established relationships with communities, helping us serve affected populations despite the security and logistical challenges. As we plan for both immediate assistance and longer-term recovery, our objective is to build the capacity of our partners and help them toward self-sufficiency as they meet the needs of their communities in the future.

"The First Thing I’ll Do is Rebuild"

Omar has always been a high achiever, a serious student and a good climber. At the age of 2, his parents found him on top of a ladder. As he grew older, he would climb trees to avoid having his hair cut.  Family members chuckle as they remember his precocious youth. 

Those days seem eons ago now. Omar is only 11, but as the Syria conflict enters its seventh year, he and his siblings have seen a lifetime of war. The family remembers distinctly the day they had to flee their home.  

 “We were under siege and shelling,” Omar’s father, Yassin, says. “My father had been shot in the knee by a sniper. They amputated the leg, but he died two weeks later from infection.” Yassin’s sister-in-law, too, was shot in the stomach and died two days later. 

“We were so afraid, terrified by the sounds of bombing, the planes overhead, and the snipers,” Yassin says. He takes a moment to breathe.

Then our home was raided by the military, twice. They forced their way in. The last time, our daughter, Renad, was awake. She was petrified.” That was the night the parents knew they must go. They risked sniper fire escaping the town, but felt they had no choice. Four years later, the sight of a uniformed man still terrifies their 9-year-old daughter.

While they are safe from war today, the family continues to face many challenges as refugees in Jordan. Living expenses, medical expenses and ever-increasing debt are among their greatest concerns. While CARE provided them with assistance this winter, the family receives very little aid.

“We haven’t paid our rent in months,” Yassin says. “We owe the landlord a lot of money.”

Mold and mildew cover the walls and ceilings of their small apartment in Amman. The mother, Aseah, describes scrubbing the walls frequently, but the mold continues to creep back. The fungus has a troubling impact on Omar’s asthma, which the parents constantly watch to ensure he is medicated. This costs money.

Some families, feeling the pressure of increasing debt, send their boys to work in the streets, selling tissue or snacks.

“Not Omar, not my children,” says Yassin, who acknowledges the additional debt they must carry since losing their home and livelihood in Syria. 

“I don’t agree with children having to work,” the father says. “A child’s education is the most important thing. I will not allow what happened to me happen to them.” The father of four completed his ninth-grade studies and went immediately to work. Today, however, Yassin believes that with education comes opportunity. Back home, he worked in a supermarket and then in construction, but in Jordan he has not been able to find steady work, as Syrians must acquire a work permit, which can be complicated, with multiple restrictions. 

Focusing on their children, and their hope for the future, the parents praise Omar. He is excellent in math, a star student, and explains to other children that they should listen to their teachers and try not to be naughty. 

“In the future, I’d like to be a construction engineer,” the boy adds confidently. His proud parents are beaming. “The first thing I’ll do is rebuild our house in Syria. And then I’m going to visit my kindergarten teacher, Amouna.”

The Syrian crisis – the world’s worst humanitarian emergency in many decades – shows no signs of abating. CARE remains committed to do our best to meet the overwhelming needs of people displaced within Syria and beyond its borders. Thanks to donors like you, we already have reached almost 3 million people with lifesaving assistance. As the situation remains fluid and CARE needs to respond quickly to rapidly emerging needs, flexible sources of funding like the Syrian Crisis Humanitarian Fund are more important than ever. On behalf of the millions of people we are working to help, we thank you for your generous support.

CARE assists evacuees from Aleppo.
CARE assists evacuees from Aleppo.
A Jordanian volunteer teaches computer skills.
A Jordanian volunteer teaches computer skills.
Omar with his father and brothers
Omar with his father and brothers
Apr 26, 2017

2 years after - Reconstruction in Nepal continues

NEPAL recovery efforts
NEPAL recovery efforts

On April 25 and May 12 2015 Nepal was rocked by two devastating 7.8 and 7.3 magnitude earthquakes. Thousands of people lost their homes in one night. CARE has been a main support in the long-term recovert of the most vulnerable population affectd by the Nepal Earthquake. Please continue supporting us for the delivery of a robust Earthquake recovery program.

WHAT WE HAVE DONE:

SHELTER: CARE is providing shelter assistance to families whose homes are heavily damaged or destroyed. Some 10,000 people have already received emergency shelter supplies (that include tarpaulins, corrugated iron sheeting, shelter tool kits, fixing kits and kitchen sets) from CARE. CARE is currently distributing high-quality shelter repair kits. These kits include corrugated sheets, specialized nails, tools and other useful items meant to help people rebuild their homes to be stronger and sturdier. In addition, some 2,700 families are receiving 15,000 Nepalese Rupees (roughly $150) to pay for labor and buy extra items they may need to rebuild. CARE and its partners are working to empower families to repair and rebuild their homes stronger to face future earthquakes. This long-term “building back safer” approach involves training local carpenters and community members on improved building techniques to make homes safer, building model homes, holding information sessions and having roving teams of local building experts available to offer helpful advice.

WASH (WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE): CARE has distributed water purification tablets, built emergency latrines, provided hand washing facilities and carried out hygiene promotion amongst the affected communities. CARE staff and local partners are also conducting hygiene workshops and distributing temporary latrine materials. In some districts, CARE is also helping to rehabilitate water sources and working back towards achieving open defecation free (ODF) areas. To date, CARE has reached nearly 6,500 people. REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH An estimated 126,000 pregnant women affected by the devastating earthquake in Nepal are in urgent need of health services. As part of our emergency response to earthquake areas, CARE has distributed reproductive health kits with information related to maternal health to health facilities and pregnant women and oriented them on the usage of health kits. We have provided transitional homes and maternity tents for women and girls and equipped birthing centers with essential equipment and supplies.

GENDER BASED VIOLENCE: In times of crisis after natural disasters such as the Nepal earthquakes, incidents of gender-based violence (GBV) can increase. As part of our emergency earthquake response, CARE has created friendly spaces in a number of areas where women can go to at any time to feel safe and empowered and have access to information, education, recreational activities, support and services. Referral mechanisms for the reporting and identification of gender-based violence have been put in place. CARE is also working with the BBC Media Action to provide people with practical information through a radio program on different issues like shelter, safety information, information on economic recovery and livelihoods.

LIVELIHOODS & FOOD SECURITY: The Nepal earthquakes were devastating for local livelihoods. Some 2.8 million people were affected, with livelihoods and sources of income destroyed, lost or disrupted. Of these, 20,000 people have been identified as most vulnerable. Working closely with our local partners, CARE has begun assisting vulnerable families with financial support to restore such livelihoods as vegetable farming, rice production and other income-generating activities. CARE is also providing a variety of vegetable seeds along with weatherproof storage bags to families. The goal of this programming will be to help families meet their basic needs, while earning additional income to help them build back their lives. To date, CARE has reached 1,156 individuals with food and 5,597 individuals with livelihoods

 
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