The destruction in the wake of the earthquake
On August 24, 2016, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Italy. Nearly 300 people lost their lives and many more men, women and children were affected while aftershocks continued to impact the area. ActionAid’s experience in emergencies has shown that each community and each emergency has specific characteristics that need to be taken into account. For this reason, ActionAid’s intervention has placed the most vulnerable people at its center, allowing their needs to be identified and addressed. After withstanding two additional earthquakes on October 26 and October 30, the ActionAid team has continued their work in the disaster-stricken areas of Italy.
Thanks to your generous support, ActionAid was able to implement a timely response that helped get affected citizens’ needs addressed. In these first several months of recovery, ActionAid has supported and promoted coordination efforts between local organizations and authorities, citizens and institutions, through presence and facilitation of local dialogue, as well as through online and tech initiatives.
In keeping up with ActionAid’s unique method of response in fusing short term emergency needs with long term recovery, a great deal of focus was placed on government transparency and civic monitoring, the goal being to develop a system that models participatory monitoring of the reconstruction process. Additionally, there was a need to advocate to policy makers in Italy, the need for transparency.
Thus, ActionAid has created a national network for transparency and monitoring of the reconstruction, with the inclusion of other local Italian organizations. Since its creation, the network has held a meeting where a proposal was presented to the Extraordinary Commissioner for Reconstruction, asking for participatory monitoring by citizens as well as the Commissioner’s cooperation during the process.
ActionAid has also started a service for citizens to offer them legal advice regarding their rights and procedures that are mapped out in post-earthquake emergency legislation. As of the writing of this report, 4 scheduled citizen town halls have been held to provide further information to wider groups of those affected.
Our long term efforts will ensure the safety of all affected citizens, especially women and children, as the rebuilding process continues. As in all emergencies, we rely on the community itself to lead relief efforts and tell us what issues are most important to them. It is with that community learning that we enter our long term recovery work.
We couldn’t do any of this vital work with your generosity. Thank you for standing in solidary with the people of Italy when they need it most.