Emergencies come in many different guises whether a large-scale earthquake or a localized disease outbreak, each one is catastrophic to those involved. The quicker we can react to them, the more lives we can save and the less far-reaching the consequences. Merlin’s Emergency Response Fund means that we can respond as soon as the disaster happens or as soon as the crisis is detected, reaching those people most in need and often before the crisis peaks. In the meantime, we can develop strong proposals for institutional and private grants and launch public fundraising appeals. These subsequent funds can be used to deliver long-term emergency and recovery programs.
- On average, over 258 million people are affected by natural disasters worldwide every year.
- In the last decade, more than two million children have died, over six million have been seriously injured and more than one million children have been orphaned or separated from their families as a direct result of armed conflict.
- More than one third of child deaths worldwide are attributed to under-nutrition.
- 25,000 people die every day from hunger and related causes.
- In 2008, 354 natural disasters were recorded: as a result, more than 235,000 people were killed, 214 million people were affected and total economic costs were over $190 billion.
- Five million people have been affected by biological /disease outbreaks in the past ten years, and over 48,000 have been killed.
- In 2011, 24.7 million people were affected by drought, over 20 million of them in Africa.
Although huge natural disasters are normally thought of as large-scale events in terms of international media coverage and humanitarian response, it is in fact the smaller ‘everyday’ hazards, such as seasonal flooding or cyclical outbreaks of communicable disease - localized events that do not usually capture international attention, but nevertheless overwhelm people’s capacity to cope and respond – that predominate. In 2012, the emergencies have been silent, less publicised and not as acute as in previous years, but they have still been happening, and Merlin has been responding to them.
In 2012 the Emergency Response Fund has been used successfully for the following crises:
Providing essential support during a Malaria Epidemic in Saramabila, the Democratic Republic of Congo, March 2012:
- 7,706 malaria patients were provided with immediate health care.
- 150 children received life-saving blood transfusions.
- 668 pregnant women were protected from malaria using drug treatment.
- 3,441 children under five received anti-malarial medicines to protect them from the disease
Provision of Emergency Nutrition and Health Services for vulnerable communities affected by the Sahel Food Crisis in Chad, March 2012:
Merlin established an emergency program in Chad, aimed to increase access to free primary health care and nutritional services for young children and pregnant / breastfeeding women. It will also help to improve the capacity of local authorities and organizations to respond to future disease outbreaks.
By arriving in country early on, Merlin began to alleviate the stress on a high-risk malnourished population before the arrival of the peak malnutrition season. It gave us a crucial window of opportunity to save lives, reduce suffering and reinforce the coping mechanisms of those most affected, before that peak was reached.
Emergency Response to the Monsoon Flooding in Southwest Philippines, August 2012:
- Implementation of a medical response in Evacuation Centers and affected communities for over 3,000 people.
- Health education and hygiene promotion in Evacuation Centers and communities for 1,350 individuals.
- Provision of medicines to local government-organized health clinics for ~30,000 people.
- Distribution of hygiene kits to 500 families (approx. 2,500 people).
- Distribution of blankets to 150 families in the Evacuation Centers.
Emergency Response for people displaced by conflict on the Sudan-South Sudan Border, September 2012:
- Providing trained health workers to GOAL-supported health facilities in Maban County.
- Sourcing and distributing Non Food Items (NFIs) and medical supplies to GOAL’s storage facilities in Maban, having first fully assessed the need and level required.
- Installing a medical expert with nutritional expertise to deliver essential healthcare and to train other health workers and medical personnel, building resilience and capacity.
- Training staff at Bunj County Hospital on efficient referral processes, ensuring only those with high needs occupy inpatient beds and those who require urgent care are able to access it.
Thank you for your support.