Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Best time to donate money is before crisis strikes

But aid groups find it harder to attract funds for prevention than for cure


Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

On Friday, Feb. 3, the UN declared the famine over in Somalia. All is not well yet. Some nine million people throughout the Horn of Africa still face a serious food crisis, but the worst of the disaster that has claimed as many as 100,000 lives - mostly children - has passed.

Now the world will turn its attention, resources and donations to the next disaster, like the growing hunger crisis in the Sahel region of northwest Africa.

We can predict how it will go.

Aid organizations will issue dire press releases for a month or two, which will be ignored at first. As the scale of the emergency grows, the media will discover the story and camera teams will rush to the scene. There will be a flurry of news stories. A burst of donations from the public will follow, with big funding announcements from governments. Depending on the profile of the emergency, after a few weeks, not much more, journalists will lose interest and donations will trickle off.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

We're caught in Einstein's loop of insanity, delivering emergency assistance over and over but never getting the result we want: stopping people from dying of hunger.

An often-repeated statistic in the development community is that every dollar spent on prevention will save four dollars in emergency response. After the 2005 drought in the Horn of Africa, another study found that it had cost $80 a day to treat a malnourished child, but it would have cost only one dollar a day to prevent the malnutrition in the first place with development programs.

We can't stop droughts from happening, but we can give communities the tools to survive so they are prepared and don't starve when the drought strikes.

The humanitarian news website AlertNet has released the results of a survey of 41 of the world's largest international aid non-government organizations.

Sixteen of these agencies said that 10 per cent or less of their spending goes to projects that help com-munities prevent or reduce the risk of disasters. Fourteen more NGOs weren't even able to get the information to answer the question. In other words, a majority of organizations are not making a meaningful effort to help communities prepare for and survive disasters.

Some organizations have made prevention a priority, and have had an impact because of it. In 1984, the famine in Ethiopia killed more than 400,000 people. Since 1984, these organizations have helped communities in the region become more prepared and resilient to drought. As a result, this time the drought affected more countries but the death toll was much lower.

Twenty-five of those NGOs polled by AlertNet said they would like to increase their disaster prevention work, if they can find the funding.

So what's the problem?

"Funding for disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness is not very 'sexy' for donors - global, domestic and private," says Jouni Hemberg of FinnChurchAid, Finland's largest development organization, in the AlertNet report.

The 2011 Millennial Donors Report by the U.S. fundraising firm Achieve found that 77 per cent of people who give to charity would be at least somewhat likely to stop giving money if they didn't know what impact their money was having. When we give money to a charity, we want to know where that money is going, and what difference it is going to make.

Delivering food and water to tens of thousands of families, as most organizations do in an emergency, has an obvious impact. When you donate to support emergency relief, you know exactly how your money is going to save lives.

Teaching sustainable farming practices or supporting local governments to manage water resources better - that's a little more complex and the impact isn't quite so obvious and immediate. Come the next drought, fewer people will need us to deliver emergency food and water. You can save more lives more effectively by helping communities prepare to survive a drought, than by rushing in with emergency aid after the drought has started.

However, many organizations are sending donors the exact opposite message with their marketing.

In every disaster, all the ads from aid groups say: "Now is the time to give!" and "We need your donations more than ever!"

What's the message behind this urgency? That it's more important to give to emergency aid than ongoing development that could prevent the emergency in the first place.

Let's turn it on its head. Why not buy the full-page newspaper ad after the drought, saying now is when we need your donations the most. By giving now, you are ensuring no one starves during the next drought.

Aid groups then need to do a much better job of explaining the impact of prevention work to their donors. With the effects of climate change, disasters are only going to become more frequent. In regions like the Horn of Africa, where droughts used to come every five to seven years, now they're coming every two to three.

We will fail if we keep trying to do the same old emergency response and expect different results.

Working with communities to prepare for disasters will save more lives, and will be a much more effective use of our aid dollars.

An ounce of prevention really is going to be worth a pound of cure.

Marc Kielburger and Craig Kielburger co-founded Free the Children.


Climate change makes adaptation essential

Climate change to affect small farmers: ActionAid
Source Last Updated: Tue, Feb 28, 2012 16:50 hrs0 CommentsVolunteer opportunity volunteer work in india Matching your interest iVolunteer.inAds by Google
New Delhi, Feb 28 (IANS) More than 80 percent small farmers, contributing to half of India's crop production, will be affected by climate change, which is impacting faster than predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says a recent study.

The study, conducted by ActionAid and Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, was released Tuesday.

"Around 80 percent of small and marginal farmers who contribute about 50 percent of the total crop production will be the most affected by the changing climate," said the study.

The study was was shared and deliberated upon at a National Consultation on Climate Change and Agriculture - Adaptation and Mitigation by Small and Marginal Farmers.

Birendra Sahariya, 40, a farmer from Sipri village in Bundelkhand region in Uttar Pradesh, was in Delhi to share his testimony.

"The pattern of rainfall has changed. It is so scattered that at times it rains but fields remain dry. The rainfall pattern was not like this about 10-15 years ago, and we are unable to understand it," he said.

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Stating that he lost everything due to changing weather, Sahariya said one of his sons committed suicide as he was unable to pay back a loan of Rs.2 lakh.

The cost of fertilisers, except urea, has increased by more than 300 percent after the nutrient based subsidy scheme was introduced and manufacturers were given a free hand to fix the price, the study noted.

Despite this, there is increased dependency on chemical fertilisers to meet soil fertility needs, given the emphasis on the chemical fertiliser-intensive green revolution model.

"The small and marginal farmers who are the largest food producers of our country can only sustain their production system if the policies and practices on climate resilient sustainable agriculture is widely adopted," said Amar Jyoti Nayak of ActionAid India.


Friday, February 24, 2012

UN climate chief turns to CEOs for way forward

Christiana Figueres told The Associated Press that her efforts to reach out to high-profile executives from companies such as Coca-Cola, Unilever and Virgin Group represent “a deeper recognition of the fact that the private sector can contribute in a decisive way.” Since the start of 2012, the Costa Rican head of the UN climate agency has met corporate leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos and on a cruise to Antarctica organized by Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.

“I’m hoping to accelerate what I call the push and pull process,” Figueres told the AP in a phone interview Tuesday from her agency’s secretariat in Bonn, Germany.

Governments act as a pull factor by shaping the policies that promote green technology and help renewable energy sources like solar and wind power compete with the fossil fuels that scientists say contribute to global warming through the release of greenhouse gases.

“But the companies, particularly these very, very high-powered companies that ... have the ear of many of the decision-makers and the opinion leaders of different countries, they can act as a push factor,” Figueres said.

She mentioned Walmart, Coca-Cola and Unilever as examples of companies that have “looked at their own production and up and down their value chain” for ways to reduce their carbon footprints.

Underscoring the focus on businesses, the U.N. climate agency last month launched an online database showcasing examples of companies making efforts to help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change.

The heightened attention to the role of corporations in addressing climate change comes amid a realization that the 2-decade-old U.N. climate talks are unlikely to achieve the goal of keeping temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels. Scientists predict further warming could lead to severe damage from extreme weather, droughts, floods and rising seas.

Last year, governments agreed to draw up a new climate pact by 2015 that would enter into force five years later. But major hurdles remain, including the difficulty in getting the United States to sign up to legally binding emissions cuts.

The US doesn’t want to commit to a binding deal unless it also imposes strict emissions targets on China and India, while the latter insist their targets should be more lenient because, historically, the West has a bigger share of the blame for man-made warming.

Figueres said it is up to the US electorate to decide in the presidential election this year “how they would like to see their national leadership treat this issue.” However, there are no signs from the presidential campaigns that the US stance is going to soften. Republican candidates have expressed doubt over, or flat-out rejected, the notion that human activities contribute to warming.

And Democratic President Barack Obama, facing Republican criticism for locking up the nation’s energy resources, has embraced increased oil and gas production on the campaign trail.

“What is always astonishing to me is how the US citizen is willing to diminish the possibility that the United States has to be a leader in the technologies of the future,” Figueres said. “And it also has implications for the world - because this world would profit from the technical and intellectual capacity that is in the United States.”


PPP Days 2012 hosts first business forum

By David Singh

GENEVA, 23 February 2012 - A Business Forum featured for the first time at today's opening in Geneva of the biennial Private Public Partnership event, PPP Days 2012.

"This is an opportunity for national and regional governments to present their projects to the business community," said Geoffrey Hamilton, Chief, Partnerships and Cooperation Section, Economic Cooperation and Integration Division of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) as he opened the special session on Japan and the role of PPPs in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and post disaster reconstruction.

PPP Days 2012, jointly hosted by the UNECE, World Bank Institute, and Asian Development Bank is the global meeting place for public sector practitioners. Since 2006, PPP Days has become the place for practitioners to network and learn from peers and counterparts from other countries.

In the keynote address, UNISDR Chief, Margareta Wahlström, said "Private sector involvement in risk reduction is far too small. By 2015 and in the lead-up to determine a successor to the Hyogo Framework for Action [the 10 year international blueprint for disaster risk reduction], I would like to see the private sector step up in both the discussions and the contributions. The knowledge and evidence to reduce disaster risks are here -- the question is what is the PPP doing?"

At the opening session, Japan's Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Geneva, Kenichi Suganuma, said that the outcome of "today's discussions must be used in future reconstruction plans, stressing that private sector knowledge and initiatives help national efforts and stimulate the economy". He recalled that during the relief period following the Great East Japan earthquake last year, over 44,000 convenience stores became community lifelines "as important as electricity and water services".

Ambassador Suganuma highlighted the amendment of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) which was passed in May last year which now enables use of private sector expertise and capital instead of government expenditure to facilitate the restoration of public infrastructure and services after disasters.

Sandra Wu Wen-Hsiu, President and CEO of Kokusai Kyogo Holding Co, Ltd., and member of UNISDR's Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG), said her company, which provides engineering and consulting services has "been involved with government infrastructure projects from our beginnings 65 years ago, and this of course includes disaster preparedness planning."

Explaining how that worked she said that during a disaster, "Many of you in the public sector might think that the amount of time necessary to meet procurement regulations makes it all but impossible to call upon the private sector in a timely manner when a disaster occurs. In Japan, we have gotten around this through a system called emergency agreements, where services to be provided are agreed upon prior to the occurrence of an emergency. These are standing agreements that kick in when there is a disaster."

Peter Williams, Chief Technology Officer for the IBM programme, "Big Green Innovations", and also a member of the PSAG, highlighted floods as a major issue for IBM. "For any given flood prone location, how can we create a global community platform that enables better understanding of the complex causes behind the risk of flood impact -- the better to support the decisions, and also the education and communication, needed to mitigate that risk before, during and after the flood itself?" he asked.

IBM is working on a Global Flood Model (GFM) which will assess flood risks and devise long-term mitigation strategies such as land use changes and infrastructure improvements, according to Williams. This model, due to be launched in March, will "comprise an integrated set of modules, each composed of models and data. For each module there are two core elements: a specification, and a live 'reference version' (a worked example). Users will be able to work with the reference version, or substitute their own models and data."

The business model is derived from open source software and the specifications and reference version of the GFM will be licensed free for non-profit usage. The GFM is proposed by Willis Ltd, the UK Met Office, Esri, Deltares and IBM who are all committing substantial pro-bono resources to the initiative. They are looking for donor funding "to confirm the feasibility of the concept, to create the GFM organization, and to commence the process of building the GFM."

EU aid to tackle climate induced natural disasters branded 'inadequate'

EU aid to tackle climate induced natural disasters branded 'inadequate'

By Martin Banks - 23rd February 2012
Climate change is very likely to intensify the water cycle
Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

A conference in Brussels heard that EU overseas aid is "not sufficient" to prevent climate induced humanitarian crises.

The conference on Thursday was told that the EU is an "important provider" of humanitarian aid and has recognised that an emergency response is vital.

But a report presented to the event said, "This is not sufficient and droughts are intensified by climate change."

It went on, "There is an urgent need to focus more on preparedness, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development."

The conference heard that the European commission has been actively involved in disaster risk reduction in the Horn of Africa.

It was said that this initiative had focused on drought preparedness and aims to make local communities more resilient while building their capacity to cope with the impact of recurrent drought.

The report said, "The immediate objective is to reduce the need for emergency response to future droughts."

The report said, "The question has to be asked whether enough has been done in order to improve crisis preparedness in the region.

"Only long term action by development agencies and national governments can deliver effective and sustainable results.

"This can be done by investing in local coordination, better resource management, animal health and planning for contingency measures."

The east African region is one of the so-called hotspots threatened by both droughts and floods, the event heard.

One of those participants, Solomon Abebe Tessema, deputy head of mission at the Ethiopian embassy to the EU, focused on the impact of climate change on natural catastrophes.

He said, "Climate change is very likely to intensify the water cycle, thereby increasing the risk of floods and tropical cyclones.

"Research suggests that both at high latitudes and over most land areas increases in average river runoff and rising sea surface temperature will occur."


"The east African region is one of the hotspots where the risk of flash floods is on a very high level."

The conference was organised by the Brussels-based think tank Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

South-East Asian Nations Call for Greater Investment in Disaster Risk Reduction to Protect Economic Growth

Bangkok (UN ESCAP Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section) – The 2011 floods that caused unprecedented devastation across South-East Asia have highlighted the need for stepped up investment in disaster risk reduction to protect social and economic assets, top government officials from the subregion agreed at a United Nations forum here today.

Representatives of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Philippines, Timor-Leste, Thailand and Viet Nam met at the one-day South-East Asia Flood Risk Reduction Forum organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in cooperation with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management (ICHARM), to discuss the lessons from the 2011 flooding in South-East Asia and ways to make their nations more resilient to future flood risks.

Opening the meeting, Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, the Executive Secretary of ESCAP and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, called for faster implementation of regional and national disaster risk reduction frameworks. She highlighted the relationship between disasters and development, saying: “Hazards become disasters in the absence of development and with inadequate investment in risk reduction. This knowledge-sharing meeting presents us with the opportunity to address gaps in regional and national disaster preparedness, management and response.”

In his remarks to the Forum, Mr Kittirat Na-Ranong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Thailand, also reiterated the importance of investing appropriately in disaster risk reduction and emphasised Thailand's full commitment to prevent flooding in the upcoming monsoon season.

Making the link between disaster risk reduction and regional performance on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Dr. Heyzer added: “Our newly launched Asia Pacific Report on the MDGs is very clear – countries with the biggest economic and social disparities are those most likely to be off-track to meet their development targets. The impacts of disasters are worst on the least developed communities, but disasters themselves make development more difficult.”

The key message emerging from Forum presentations and discussions was that the 2011 South-East Asia floods were a “wake-up call to policymakers, governments, private sector and civil society that there is a gap between rapid economic growth and investment in disaster risk reduction”.

More investment is needed to fill this gap in order to protect social and economic assets from floods and other disasters in the region, in particular for those areas with rapid economic growth.

The solutions must be built on sound scientific and technical knowledge. A balanced approach consisting of structural and non-structural measures could constitute short, medium and long-term interventions. These measures must be implemented at the regional, national and local levels and require strong leadership for their success.

As the causes and impacts of floods extend beyond national boundaries, international cooperation is also an important factor. Regional collaboration, facilitated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations would ensure that a common set of achievable and deliverable regional goals to reduce risk and promote inclusive and sustainable development are put in place and actions to achieve these goals are implemented.

The 2011 South-East Asia Floods affected millions of people with more than one thousand lives lost and damages estimated in billions of US dollars. Torrential rains and floods of historical scale spread throughout parts of Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam, while Typhoon Washi inflicted a heavy toll on the Philippines, over-all affecting almost 20 million people in the subregion.

The Forum will be followed by a two-day “Workshop on Flood Risk Reduction through Space Applications in South-East Asia” which will provide technical training on the use of space applications during floods, including Geographic Information Sytem (GIS)-based disaster information, the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation, the Integrated Flood Analysis System and Flood Forecasting Model.


Hunger in the Delhi slums

Save the Children is warning that half a billion children around the world could be physically and mentally stunted unless more effort is made to fight malnutrition.
After conducting a survey across five developing countries it concluded that rising global food prices are largely to blame along with the failure of the international community to tackle the problem.
Many people questioned in India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Peru said they were unable to afford nutritious foods like milk, meat and vegetables. Some revealed their children were skipping meals to help their families earn money for food and often went to bed hungry.
The charity says that children under two are most in need of help because the body and brain are developing fast at that age. Prolonged malnutrition for these children can irreversibly stunt their growth and reduce their IQ by as much as 15 points.
India is home to a third of the world's malnourished children. Some 43% of them suffer from malnutrition and three out of four are anaemic.
More than half of adults there polled by Save the Children said food prices have become their biggest worry and one in four said their children often have to go without meals, sometimes for a whole day.

I thought it was some curse, some kind of evil spirit.
Nasreen Khatoun
Nasreen Khatoun lives in Bhagwanpura slum, one of the worst of many in New Delhi.
The 24-year-old's tiny home is crammed between other flimsy structures made from canvas, plastic and whatever can be found. Like most in this deprived area it has no electricity or running water.
But feeding rather than housing her family is Nasreen's biggest concern after already having lost two of her children to malnutrition. Both were two years old. Her daughter was the first to pass away.
"She died of acute malnutrition, she seemed to have dried up. She was just skin and bones," Nasreen told me.
"I thought it was some curse, some kind of evil spirit. The son who died was also acutely malnourished. One day all of a sudden he got pneumonia and he died."
There is little work in this area of Delhi and what there is pays a pittance. With her husband unable to work at the moment, Nasreen says getting food on the table is a permanent struggle.
"Prices have doubled of everything in the last one year. Everything is expensive the children eat only one meal a day. There is no assistance. We don't know what to feed our children," she explained.

Malnourished children go to slum feeding centres for food
Not far away crowds of young children and their mothers squeeze into a small government run feeding centre, one of more than 10,000 in Delhi.
The scrawny youngsters jostle for ladles of dhal in an area where nine out of 10 children need help.
"There are a lot of children who come here who are extremely malnourished," said Seroja, a helper at the feeding centre.

"Their eyes stand out and their bones stand out and their legs are really thin. So you can see them and tell obviously that they are extremely seriously malnourished."
Malnutrition does not only leave children hungry. It also lowers the body's resistance to disease, leaving children open to contracting serious conditions like TB and pneumonia.
Delhi paediatrician Dr RK Gupta confirms that it also can ruin the long-term physical and mental health of suffers under two.

Conditions are desperate for children living in the Delhi slums
"If a child is malnourished in the first two years he's likely to remain malnourished in later life," he said.
"And definitely if he suffers from any disease he's likely to take longer to recover. In infancy or the first two years of life if malnutrition is there then intellectual capacity or physical development is all hampered."
A few miles away the damage done by early onset malnutrition is visible in the classroom, according to the vice-principle of a government school there.
Due to the stigma attached to the condition, the teacher concerned asked to remain anonymous.
"If poor parents are not able to give children a fully-balanced diet that has a great impact on their leaning ability," he told me.

Childhood malnourishment takes a physical and mental toll
"In language some of them can read but not write. In mathematics for instance, I ask them to write 305 but instead of writing 305 they wrote 300 and five, as in three zero zero and five"
The result of all this, he says, is that few of these children will be able, when adults, to get jobs enabling them to escape the poverty that surrounds them and their families.
Save the Children says that, in addition to rising food prices, there are several other factors that put children at risk of malnutrition across the developing world.
These include the reluctance of some mothers to breast feed their children and a lack of access to fortified foods.

The charity is calling on the British government to stage a world summit on hunger in London around the time of the Olympics when leaders from around the globe will be gathered there.
In the meantime, having already lost two children, Nasreen Khatoun from Bhagwanpure will need all her energy to stop the same happening to the two she has left.
"Every evening I come back worried for my children, there is nobody to take care of them while I'm away. I'm worried for their health.
"I skip my meals so that I can feed my children. I borrow, I even lie to somehow get money to feed them. Poverty breaks you down but you should be hopeful and strong.
"Till the time I have the strength and the will, I will fight. With whatever means I can manage, I will carry on."


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

WMO welcomes outcome of World radiocommunication conference 2012

Radio frequencies which are vital for weather forecasts, disaster warnings and climate monitoring will remain available to the meteorological community and protected from interference from other applications thanks to decisions taken by the World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12).
The World Meteorological Organization today welcomed the outcome of WRC-12 and said it would safeguard the use of radio frequency spectrum which are needed to observe and understand our Earth, atmosphere and oceans and to reduce the risk of weather, climate and water-related disasters.
WRC-12 reinforced the commitment of previous World Radiocommunication Conferences to the special needs of meteorological and hydrological services, despite competing pressure for scarce radio frequencies from wireless technology and other uses.
"New applications for radio waves are being continuously developed, which means that more and more has to be squeezed into the available radio spectrum,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “The WRC-12 decisions will help ensure that the signals we need to observe the earth are not drowned by new signals," said Mr. Jarraud.
“The outcome of WRC-12 will provide new opportunities for observation systems needed to monitor, understand and predict our changing climate, and will provide the necessary protection to meteorological applications,” he said.
In particular, WRC-12 agreed to an update to Resolution 673 of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2007 on Radiocommunications use for Earth observation applications and modified its name and content. The new version of Resolution 673 (Rev.WRC-12) is called “The importance of Earth observation radiocommunication applications.” It resolves:
to continue to recognize that the use of spectrum by Earth observation applications has a considerable societal and economic value;
to urge administrations to take into account Earth observation radio-frequency requirements and in particular protection of the Earth observation systems in the related frequency bands;
to encourage administrations to consider the importance of the use and availability of spectrum for Earth observation applications prior to taking decisions that would negatively impact the operation of these applications.
In a submission to the conference, WMO had warned that if some of the frequency bands allocated for meteorological purposes were to be used byother incompatible applications, then these bands could be rendered unusable for weather, climate, water and/or disaster observation and monitoring systems. This would make corresponding forecasts and services extremely difficult and sometimes impossible.
Given that weather, climate and water-related disasters represent more than 90% of natural disasters, radio frequencies are essential components of multi-hazard early warning systems.
WMO’s Steering Group on Radio Frequency Coordination was active in ensuring that WRC-12 participants understood the potential impact decisions at the conference could have on earth observations systems maintained by WMO Members. The World Meteorological Congress in June 2011 allocated additional funding to support WMO’s radio frequency coordination activities in view of their fundamental importance.
World Radiocommunication Conferences are held every four years under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union to review and revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of radio frequency spectrum.
Specific outcomes:
WRC-12 agenda items identified by WMO as important for development and protection of meteorological applications prior to WRC-12 were successfully addressed by the Conference as follows.

Read the complete document at :-

Preliminary Report on Mega Mock Drill conducted in District North-East

District Disaster Management Authority

Office of the Dy. Commissioner (North East)

D.C. Office Complex, Nand Nagari

Ph. No: 22115289, Fax: 22115513 Email:

A Preliminary Report on Mega Mock Drill conducted in District North-East on 15.02.2012 at 11:30 AM

1. The Mega Mock Drill was conducted in District North-East on 15.02.2012 at 11:30 AM sharp at 70 incident sites, as follows: -

S. No.


No. of Places


Government Schools



Private Schools



Government Hospitals



Private Hospitals






Petro Pump



Private Residential Buildings (RWAs)



Market Trade Associations



Cinema Hall



Government Office Buildings


2. For the preparation of conduct of Mega Mock Drill, 02 Table Top Exercises were conducted with all ESFs & Stakeholders on 09.02.2012 & 14.02.2012.

3. A training programme was organised for the principals/ Vice Principals of all Govt./ Private Schools & colleges on 13.02.2012 at RPVV, Yamuna Vihar School wherein Schools & Colleges participated. The training was imparted by officer of Delhi Fire Services, NDRF & Search & Rescue Instructors.

4. 400 Civil Defence Volunteers & 73 NCC Cadets were deployed as dummy casualties at all 70 sites. They were provided training by officials of District Disaster Management Centre, District North-East on 11.02.2012 & 13.02.2012.

5. On 15.02.2012, EOC (NE) was working under overall supervision of ADM (NE) with the help of DPO (NE), other staff members of EOC (NE) & 06 Civil Defence Volunteers. The District Incident Commander/ DC (NE) was present at EOC (NE). CDMO (NE), Dr. Ashok Saxena, AAO (CATS), Sh. S.P. Singh, Chief Warden (Civil Defence), Sh. I.D. Gupta, Addl. Chief Wardens (Civil Defence) were also present at EOC (NE) during the operation. The Health Department Control Room was also setup at EOC (NE).

6. As per available reports, status of casualties at various incident sites is as follows: -

S. No.


No. of Casualty





Major Injured



Minor Injured


7. The dead and major injured were sent to the various Govt. Hospitals, as follows: -

S. No.

Name of Hospital


Major Injured















GTB Hospital











Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital











Swami Dayanand Hospital




















8. 03 Relief Centres were setup in the District (01 in each Sub-division) where the minor injured and other affected persons were sent for relief. The DTC buses transported them to the relief centres from the incident sites. The details of relief centres are as follows: -

S. No.

Name of Relief Centre


No. of Minor Casualties


F-2, Baratghar, Sunder Nagri




Community Center, Ashok Nagar




Community Center, Near SBI Bank, Gokulpur



Refreshment was provided at relief centres which are Community Centre, Ashok Nagar & Community Centre, Gokul Puri. The Medical Posts were setup at all 03 relief centres.

9. All ESFs reported at various incident sites.

10. During the search & rescue operation, volunteers from 12 GRCs, NGOs and Civil Defence Organisation & St. John’s Ambulance Brigade took part in search & rescue operation as well as relief centres. The main NGOs were Dera Sachha Sauda, Awami Ekta Welfare Association, Anchal Charitable Trust, Action India etc.

11. The NDRF Batalian of 40 personnel’s reported for Search & Rescue Operation in the District. It was divided into 03 teams. The deployment of these 03 teams were made at following places: -

a. Bhim Rao Ambedkar College, East of Loni Road

b. Northern Engineering College, Shastri Park

c. Shyam Lal College, Shahdara

12. The CISF, Delhi Police SWAT, RAF 103 Batta, BDT/NE also reported at certain incident sites during search & rescue operation.

Read the full report at :-

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Risks Rise from Urban Flooding in East Asia and Pacific

Urban flooding is a serious and growing development challenge for fast growing low and middle-income countries in East Asia, underscoring an urgent need to build flood risk management into regular planning of cities and towns, says a new World Bank guidebook released today.

Titled “Cities and Flooding: A Guide to Integrated Urban Flood Risk Management for the 21st Century”, the book provides operational guidance on how to manage the risk of floods in the face of urbanization, growing populations and long-term climate change trends.

“Urban expansion often creates poorer neighborhoods which lack adequate infrastructure and services, making them more vulnerable to floods. The poor are hit hardest, especially women and children,” said Pamela Cox, World Bank Vice President, East Asia and Pacific Region.“But rapid urbanization also means we have the opportunity to do things right the first time, so cities and towns can support sustainable development, saving lives and money.”

Floods are the most frequent among all natural disasters, and the East Asia and Pacific region, along with South Asia, is particularly vulnerable. In the past 30 years, the number of floods in Asia amounted to about 40 percent of the total worldwide. More than 90 percent of the global population exposed to floods lives in Asia.

Read in detail at :-

Towards a Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 Building the Resilience of Nations and
Communities to Disasters (HFA) is the inspiration for knowledge, practice,
implementation, experience and the science for disaster risk reduction. As we head toward
the end date of the current HFA it is important to outline an approach and shape the
discussions on a continuation to be considered at the World Conference on Disaster
Reduction in 2015

Read the detailed framework at :-

Cyclone hits as evaluation team visits Madagascar

For the second year in a row, Valentine's Day on the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar has been marked by the arrival of a tropical cyclone. Cyclone Giovanna made landfall on the east coast shortly after midnight, bringing torrential rain and reported wind speeds of up to 231 km per hour.

One death has been reported so far in Brickaville where unconfirmed reports indicate severe damage to the local hospital and many people rendered homeless. In the capital, Antananarivo, power has been cut off and drivers ordered to stay off the roads.

Last year, Cyclone Bingiza also hit the island on February 14, and killed 14 people and destroyed nearly 6,000 homes over the course of five days. Schools for over 7,000 children were damaged.

The imminent arrival of Cyclone Giovanna injected an unusual dose of reality into the work of an evaluation team from the UK's York University which arrived on the island a week ago to assess the impact of UNICEF and the Ministry of Education's Disaster Risk Reduction, Preparedness and Response programme.

Yesterday, Dr. Sean Deely, Deputy Director of York University's Postwar Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU) was at a school in Analangirofo, close to where the cyclone was expected to make landfall and said: "It was amazing to see the kids preparing for the cyclone and the extent of their knowledge."

Before we lost mobile phone contact, Dr. Deely told UNISDR that the team had visited two schools in the lead-up to the arrival of Giovanna.

"We knew that there was a possibility of a tropical cyclone. Two storms have already passed through the Mozambique Channel since the beginning of the season.

"It's very interesting to see how the project has been implemented with a range of partners. They are training Ministry of Education staff at national and district level and they in turn train the teachers in the schools and the teachers then pass on the key messages to the kids on disaster risk reduction and preparedness measures for tropical storms, floods, tsunamis, forest fires and other hazards. The children go home and pass the messages on to their parents.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Know How You Can Be A Part & Whom to Contact In Your Area For Delhi Mega Mock Drill

Know How You Can Be A Part & Whom to Contact In Your Area For Delhi Mega Mock Drill :-

Action Plan for Mega Mock-Drill on 15th February, 2012-DDMA (South Delhi)

Action Plan for Mega Mock-Drill on 15th February, 2012-DDMA (South Delhi)

Read the brief action plan proposed from district South Delhi to conduct mega mock-drill on 15th February, 2012

Know How You Can Be A Part & Whom to Contact In Your Area For Delhi Mega Mock Drill :-

Friday, February 10, 2012

Good governance in disaster risk reduction helps reduce losses

Rome - Good civil protection governance for effective disaster risk reduction will be the main theme addressed during the EU-funded PPRD South Programme workshop on Civil Protection Organisational Models scheduled in Geneva, Switzerland, on 14-16 February 2012.

During the workshop, which includes a meeting with Margareta Walström, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, 22 strategic planning experts from the national civil protection authorities of Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Tunisia and Turkey, will discuss with the European Commission, United Nations and private sector international experts about the key functions, responsibilities and organizational models of national civil protection organizations that help minimize human, economic and environmental losses due to disasters.

According to the United Nations “There are many examples of good governance in relation to disaster risk reduction over the world. In many countries, however, legal and regulatory regimes for disaster reduction are to be further developed, institutional frameworks and mechanisms are to be strongly improved, levels of participation need decisive steps forward, and additional capacities and resources are required”.

Taking into account the challenges and priorities of disaster risk management in their countries, the participants will be able to learn the recent developments and trends concerning the organization of civil protection services, identify strengths and weaknesses of their organisations, learn from each other’s experience and discuss among them and with the experts possible improvements.

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Change is needed in the humanitarian system’s response to disasters

The British Red Cross welcomes a report released by Oxfam today which highlights the need for the humanitarian system to shift towards a local response, rather than global, when disasters strike.

Greater numbers of people are being affected by disasters due to issues which include:

increased frequency of weather-related disasters
more people living in urban contexts at risk of more complex disasters
a burgeoning global population of 7 billion, which is expected to double by 2100.
As the report explains, the international humanitarian system will struggle to cope with those affected when disasters strike without having local response mechanisms in place.

For the British Red Cross, as part of an international Movement, working with local staff and volunteers is always central in any response to a disaster. And every Red Cross and Red Crescent National Society is a neutral auxiliary to its government, meaning their volunteers and staff are active from the earliest moments in a crisis.

In 2010, when an unprecedented earthquake struck Haiti, it was local volunteers who were first on the scene. Since then, the British Red Cross has been working closely with the Haitian Red Cross to help survivors recover.

Prepared before disaster strikes

© Katrina Crew/BRC

As Oxfam’s report emphasises, there is an increasing need for emergency resources to be closer to where disasters happen.

Around the world the Red Cross has 187 National Societies and each has its own emergency supplies stored in-country. However, when large-scale disasters happen there can of course be a need for international assistance.

At the British Red Cross our aim is to buy and store goods locally so as to speed up our response, boost local economies and ensure assistance is relevant to local society and culture. For instance, we store emergency relief items in warehouses in Kuala Lumpur and Panama, which are strategically positioned close to areas more prone to disasters.

If we don’t have what is needed in our pre-positioned stock another approach we use, as for example in our response to the current food crisis in east Africa, is to release cash to buy items in-country or nearby. This is an efficient way of responding and supports the local economy.

When responding to an emergency, the Red Cross co-ordinates with affected governments the UN and other humanitarian organisations – however co-ordination in the chaos of a disaster is always a challenge and all actors have a responsibility to improve ways of working together more effectively.

Reducing the risk of disasters

© BRC/ Sarah Oughton

Investment in reducing the risk of disaster is a core part of British Red Cross work. When we plan a recovery programme to help people get back on their feet, we also look for ways to lessen the impact of future disasters. In Haiti, we’ve seen how improving the ways we communicate with people affected by disasters is vital to ensuring that communities are at the heart of andengaged in their own recovery.

However, it’s not only in the aftermath of disasters that we help communities be better prepared. Bangladesh is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, but the work that the government, the Red Cross and other organisations have done to helpcommunities at risk of cyclones get prepared has had a huge impact in recent years. In part, this work can be attributed for the fact that in 2007 Cyclone Sidr resulted in more than 3,300 people losing their lives, where as in 2009 when Cyclone Aila struck the number of lives lost – while still too many – was reduced to 190, although 300,000 lost their homes and livelihoods.

When disasters strike humanitarian aid is essential and the generosity of donors at such times helps save lives. Although the emphasis remains on responding to crises, as Oxfam’s report points out, there is not enough investment in preventing and reducing the risk of disasters.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Future of Foreign Aid Money

The Future of Foreign Aid Money
Posted: 02/ 1/2012 5:46 pm

Reuters is stepping up to provide more comprehensive coverage of humanitarian aid. Recently, they launched the 'Future of Aid' section that is filled with graphics, stories and videos about humanitarian aid. The present focus of the section is centered around aid spending.
In a survey of 41 relief agencies, Reuters asked aid experts to weigh in on how money is spent and advise what ways the humanitarian sector can be improved. Based on the feedback, Reuters came up with a list of ten ways that aid agencies can stay ahead:

1) Be better prepared for an increase in climate-related disasters
2) Devise new ways of operating in urban areas like city slums
3) Work more closely with local people to avert disasters and reduce their impact
4) Lobby governments to invest more in reducing the risk of disasters
5) Spread the word about why humanitarian aid must be provided impartially
6) Be more transparent about how aid is delivered, as well as its successes and failures
7) Train aid workers to be better leaders and learn from their mistakes
8) Cut red tape at the U.N. and improve coordination between U.N. agencies and NGOs
9) Operate more like a business, with a clear focus on results
10) Look for new sources of funding, including the private sector

When asked which factors are most likely to increase humanitarian need in the coming years, the respondents overwhelmingly pointed to climate-change related disasters. "The rising trend in the number of disasters over the past five years shows no sign of slowing down," said Gareth Owen, humanitarian director at Save the Children UK. "Year on year, we are responding more frequently and on a larger scale to increasing numbers of disasters."

The agencies surveyed seem slightly optimistic, but largely think that many things will be the same in the coming years when asked about changes in funding and the role of the UN. Advocating for disaster preparedness is not a new call from NGOs. Evidence overwhelming points to it being more cost effective and the best way to mitigate large scale disaster.

The Horn of Africa is a prime example where Kenya and Ethiopia, who were focusing on drought preparedness in arid regions, were able to better handle the drought that southern Somalia. The problem is getting donors behind the idea. "Funding for disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness is not very 'sexy' for donors -- global, domestic and private," said Jouni Hemberg, director of international cooperation for FinnChurchAid.

In 2010, governments gave $12.4 billion in humanitarian aid, almost three times as much as private contributions, which amounted to $4.3 billion, according to estimates from Global Humanitarian Assistance, a British-based aid monitoring group.

But 22 agencies forecast a drop in government funding for humanitarian aid over the next five years.

One casualty of the recent economic downturn has been the Global Fund. It came under fire after an internal audit found rampant graft among recipients. As a result, countries pulled funds and the Fund announced that it would not offer new grants in the coming year. The good news is that Gatesannounced he will inject $750 million to help keep the fund afloat.

Although the scandal contributed to the loss of funding, it also provided an out for donor countries with cash-strapped economies. Foreign aid is one of the first cuts suggested when money is tight and there are plenty of calls across the G20 to make those cuts a reality. In the United States, a budget proposed by the House Republicans included a complete cut of USAID.

As seen in the video below, the status quo is ill equipped to adequately address disaster relief. The cause is not due to lack of ability; the relief sector is excellent given the many constraints under which it operates. Providing disaster relief is hard and complex. IFRC's Matthias Schmale, suggests that humanitarian organizations "provide more credible leadership through less marketing and spinning, and ensure actions match words."


Experts identify 10 key actions for reducing disaster risk in Nepal’s education sector

Experts identify 10 key actions for reducing disaster risk in Nepal’s education sector

Participants discussing in the groups
Ten key actions to better prepare Nepal’s education sector for dealing with disasters have been identified by government representatives and development partners at the end of a two day workshop on 30 and 31 January 2012 in Kathmandu.
The actions relate to mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction (DRR) into education policy and planning, disaster risk reduction in teaching and learning, disaster risk management in schools and safe school buildings. All of them will help to strengthen educational planning, management and budgeting, agreed the workshop participants.

The event, initiated by UNESCO and organized in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF and Save the Children with support from Japan, was part of the activities of Nepal’s Education Cluster.

Experts from the Government, UNICEF, UNESCO, Save the Children, the Asian Development Bank and UNDP facilitated the discussions. Agenda items included the presentation of regional perspectives on DRR in education, existing DRR initiatives in Nepal’s education sector, and strategies to integrate DRR into education sector planning.

Participants reaffirmed that DRR in education is a combination of actions, processes and attitudes necessary for disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness. Embedding DRR in education policy is critical for its application and sustainability.

The overall consensus of the participants was that clear policy guidelines, adequate financial and human resources, and political commitment are needed for effective implementation of the following key actions:

Mainstreaming of DRR into Education Policy and planning

1. Integrate DRR as an objective in School Sector Reform Plan (SSRP). Analyze DRR in the SSRP and make recommendations for integration of DRR into the plan, for the Mid-Term Review in March 2012

2. National Planning Commission and Ministry of Finance to approve DRR related budget mechanisms and activities in the Annual Sector Implementation Plan. The Ministry of Education and Education Cluster will advocate DRR priorities to National Planning Commission and Ministry of Finance

DRR in teaching and learning

3. Incorporate DRR-related specific objectives, learning outcomes and weighting in formal education, from early childhood education ranging to higher education

4. Ensure training on DRR to all teachers and early childhood education facilitators to ensure delivery of DRR skills in every classroom

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