The threat of disease is significant; the Red Cross will work in partnership with organizations like UNICEF and the WHO in a massive measles immunization and health intervention campaign for as many as 22 million children in affected countries.
Inquiries about Loved Ones in the Region
The ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) has launched a website to help restore links between family members affected by the disaster at www.familylinks.icrc.org. Inquiries concerning U.S. citizens should be referred to the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Service, at 1-888-407-4747. Callers are asked to remember that these phone numbers are frequently busy during the first days of a large disaster.
What you can do
Tens of thousands have no place
to go but a Red Cross/Red Crescent shelter. Your donation will provide first aid, shelter, and food for those in
Care workers face the huge task of addressing the psychological and health problems wrought by the natural disaster.
Coastal regions lost houses and hotels to the waves as the drawing tidal surge pulled everything in its grasp out to sea. Donate online securely. The American Red Cross is asking only for financial assistance to help aid our sister Red Cross units in S.E. Asia. Your contribution will help provide safe housing, food and water to the survivors; ferry the untold injured to area hospitals; and remove the dead from public areas.
Donations of clothing/ material goods/food are not being collected because of the extreme cost of transportation (a 24-hour flight). All those items can be bought near the areas hardest hit for a fraction of what they cost here.
The Tsunami Relief Effort
Facts At A Glance
The $400 million estimated for the American Red Cross relief effort, a dual-phased approach that gets specialized relief now and in the long term to affected areas, begins with a $134 million initial phase. This phase not only addresses immediate emergency needs, it lays a foundation—through the identification of service delivery networks and implementation of monitoring and accountability systems—for the second and expected final stage of the organization's response. American Red Cross staff will support partnerships and ensure donor intent is honored.
(All costs are anticipated.)
Emergency and Supplemental Food Aid: $55 million
Malnutrition, an existing widespread problem in some areas due to poverty and civil conflict, has been compounded by the tsunami. As a result of roads, bridges and ports having been destroyed, access to food has been severely compromised.
Working in partnership with the World Food Program, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other local and regional partners, the American Red Cross will work to meet the nutrition needs of more than 2 million tsunami-affected people in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Maldives over the course of six months. Leveraging existing strengths among other global partners for the most effective aid, the American Red Cross will support the local procurement, transport, staff, warehousing and/or distribution of food in each country.
Water and Sanitation: $10 million
The tsunami and its aftermath polluted water sources and severely damaged many water and wastewater treatment infrastructures. Assuring access to safe water and sanitation prevents and limits the spread of water-borne infectious diseases. American Red Cross efforts in this critical area will concentrate on restoring water and sanitation systems and providing technical assistance to ensure access to potable water.
Vaccination and Health: $36 million
The potential for widespread epidemics and outbreaks of disease after a disaster is great and was expected to be especially critical in the wake of the tsunami. Crowded areas such as settlements for displaced persons contribute to the spread of disease and increased transmission; malnutrition and lack of safe water also contribute greatly to the problem.
The fact that healthcare networks have been compromised and in some cases destroyed makes the threat a very real one.
The American Red Cross, working through the Measles Partnership (UN Foundation, WHO, UNICEF, CDC and the Federation), will support measles control for up to 2 million children through emergency vaccination, outbreak response and a mass campaign for all children under 5 years of age. In addition, there will be a vaccination campaign for approximately 12 million children under 5 years of age and their families which will include other health and disease interventions such as insecticide-treated bed nets for malaria control, polio vaccine, and de-worming medicine.
Immediate Family Supplies: $20 million
In addition to the loss of life, injuries, lack of food and water that result from a disaster, the loss of homes and other personal goods is a common occurrence. With the complete devastation of homes, tsunami survivors were left without the bare essentials needed for daily life. Meeting the non-food needs of those affected in a culturally appropriate manner is an important part of disaster relief as it helps to provide some degree of stability and comfort to victims. Immediate needs include shelter and personal hygiene supplies. American Red Cross support will include the acquisition and distribution of non-relief supplies such as family kits, hygiene kits, kitchen sets and tents.
A family kit typically contains plastic sheeting for shelter, sleeping mats and blankets, sheets, mosquito netting, potable water containers and a lantern for a family of six.
A hygiene kit typically includes items such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet tissue, razors, feminine hygiene products and laundry powder, enough for one family for one month. Families with babies also receive infant-specific supplies.
Where needed, kitchen sets can be a part of a family kit or a stand-alone item. They include pots, pans, and plates, bowls and eating utensils.
Tents provide temporary shelter for a family of six.
Psychosocial Assistance: $2 million
Psychosocial support is an important component of the overall American Red Cross tsunami relief plan. Psychosocial support is similar to the disaster mental health services provided by the American Red Cross in the United States but is adapted to be culturally appropriate. It is a central part of the recovery process for victims because its helps them deal with stress-related mental health problems and psychological traumas as a result of the disaster itself and succeeding upheavals.
American Red Cross psychosocial support will include providing psychosocial first aid and a establishing a “train-the-trainer” model to increase the capacity of affected Red Cross Societies and local agencies to provide psychosocial services. In the early days of its response to the disaster, American Red Cross workers based in India on an existing American Red Cross project building the Indian Red Cross Society's capacity to provide psychosocial support were deployed to the Maldives and other affected areas. Local practitioners such as family counselors, psychologists and teachers were trained to subsequently train additional people within their community.
Emergency Response Staffing and Deployment: $3 million
In order to effectively respond to the acute emergency phase of the relief and recovery effort, staff must be mobilized and sent overseas to assess the needs, distribute the needed relief, and provide technical support to key partners.
Direct Support Costs: $ 8 million
Direct support represents the necessary supporting activities of the disaster response, including donation processing, incremental stewardship costs such as audit fees, accounting support, technology support, communication activities and support for staff.