By Andy McElroy
SUVA, 3 June 2014 – Not one child died at a school or kindergarten during the Christchurch earthquake of February 2011. It was one of the few bright spots from the major disaster that hit New Zealand’s principal city of its South Island.
That remarkable statistic was also a resounding endorsement of the country’s efforts to teach its children to ‘Drop, Cover & Hold’ during earthquake.
A message from the International Federation Dear partners,
Welcome to the 7th external edition of Saving Lives Changing Minds. In this edition you will read about the work of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (the Movement) in the Pacific over the last six months – from disaster response to water and sanitation, first aid, community health and the empowerment of young women.
Information about the displacement of people after disasters is crucial in determining the scale and impact of the emergency, and is vital for conducting humanitarian needs assessment on the ground. Methods to forecast or detect such migration are however very limited at present.
By Andy McElroy
GENEVA, 21 June 2013 - Two countries sitting at opposite ends of the world are emerging as beacons of good practice in terms of innovative public-private partnerships that have been proven to reduce disaster risk.
More than 18,000km separates New Zealand from Scotland but the two countries are much closer when it comes to pursuing proactive partnerships to strengthen the resilience of their communities and countries.
By Tricia Holly Purcell
GENEVA, 1 May 2013 - When college sophomore Sam Johnson started a Facebook page following the September 2010 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, to rally his peers to help affected communities, he never imagined that his idea would eventually mobilize an 'army' of young people across the country to take up similar efforts.
Nor could he have imagined that he and his growing force of student volunteers would play such a crucial role in the response to the February 2011 earthquake that leveled much of Christchurch.
The Caritas Annual Report shows our work in 2012 through five strategic priorities identified during the year: addressing poverty at home and abroad, responding to emergencies, upholding the dignity and rights of indigenous peoples, promoting environmental justice, and connecting effectively with our Catholic community.
Public donations topped $3 million last year, including a record Lent total of more than $900,000. We are grateful for the government’s New Zealand Aid Programme which contributed almost $1 million towards Caritas development and relief programmes.
As the second anniversary of the devastating February earthquake approaches, New Zealand Red Cross is encouraging the people of Christchurch to make their personal happiness and that of their family and friends a priority.
Red Cross is working with an expert in psychological recovery from disaster, Australian clinical psychologist Dr Rob Gordon, who says year three can be the most difficult for some.
Red Cross is helping former residents of Christchurch who are still recovering from the devastating earthquakes.
With thousands of former residents of Christchurch now living in Australia, Red Cross is helping lead an information session on 25 October for people who are still recovering physically, emotionally and socially from the devastating earthquakes.
Reports of peace from Afghanistan
Caritas staff Tara D’Sousa and Nick Borthwick recently visited Bamyan province in Afghanistan, where Caritas supports an education and rural development programme. Despite recent violence in northeast Bamyan, Tara and Nick say their biggest impression of the areas they visited (Shaidan Valley and Yakawlang) was one of peacefulness and harmony. ‘People are just going about their daily lives and making the most of their opportunities,’ says Nick.
Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
‘Building Resilience: the importance of prioritising disaster risk reduction – a United Nations Development Programme Perspective’
Hopkins Lecture, University of Canterbury
Aurora Centre, Burnside High School, Christchurch
6.30 pm, Wednesday 15 August 2012
I am pleased to be delivering this year’s University of Canterbury Hopkins Lecture here at Aurora Centre, Burnside High School.
GENEVA, 6 June 2012 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Margareta Wahlström, has just visited the site of a major reconstruction programme which is about to start in the earthquake-devastated centre of Christchurch, New Zealand.
"Over 300 million people live in urban seismic zones around the world which are just as high-risk as Christchurch but without the advantage of New Zealand's very high rate of insurance coverage of about 90% which includes earthquake insurance and, uniquely, also covers land damage," she said.
This report covers the period 1 January to 31 December 2011 Programme outcome
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Asia Pacific zone office continues to support its regional and country offices as well as the 37 national societies in the zone in building stronger and more resilient communities, improving and assisting in preparedness, knowledge-sharing and response to disasters as well as health and care challenges.
This report covers the period January to December 2011
• Emergency operations support was provided to all Pacific national societies in relation to a range of tsunami and cyclone warnings and disaster operations (drought, cyclone, earthquake, power supply rupture).
Australian researchers say that social media can limit psychological damage during natural disasters. A team from the University of Western Sydney has studied the use of Facebook and Twitter during last year's deadly floods and Tropical Cyclone Yasi in the northern state, Queensland, as well as the New Zealand earthquake and the tsunami in Japan.
The university research surveyed more than 1,100 people about their use of social media during disasters.
- USAID/OFDA-Supported Search and Rescue Team Receives Earthquake Award
- Responding to Floods and Landslides in Papua New Guinea
- Strengthening Flood Preparedness in Thailand -Preparing Microfinance Institutions for Disas-ters in Indonesia
- USAID/OFDA Supports Disaster Prepar-edness in Laos
By Ellie Matthews
Kitty, 83, is one of the people the New Zealand Red Cross is supporting after the earthquake last February. She has cancer and finds it difficult to walk.
Kitty lives alone, so when her television and radio stopped working after the earthquake, she was completely cut off from the outside world. She says: “I just sit in my chair. I’m on quite a lot of medication so can’t move around, but I’ll be alright – I have to be. There are so many people worse off than I am.”
One Year On From The Disaster, Habitat Thanks Hundreds of Volunteers Who Have Given Support
BANGKOK, 22nd February 2012: Today, one year on from the earthquake that devastated Christchurch and the surrounding Canterbury region, Habitat for Humanity New Zealand is still hard at work supporting affected families.
Twelve months has passed since the earthquake that devastated Canterbury on February 22, 2011, and the loss of life and destruction are still very raw for many of those affected.
The earthquake and on-going aftershocks led to the largest relief and recovery programme in New Zealand Red Cross history.
Red Cross chief executive John Ware says while the anniversary will be a reminder of loss for many people, for others it’s a celebration of life and survival.
02/20/2012 03:07 GMT
by Neil Sands
CHRISTCHURCH, February 20, 2012 (AFP) - Christchurch residents have been living on their nerves for more than 12 months amid constant aftershocks, afraid that next tremor could be another "big one", repeating the disaster that ripped their lives apart a year ago.
"The hand of God comes down and gives us another smack," said writer Jane Bowron, who has chronicled the trials endured by New Zealand's second city in her book "Old Bucky and Me".
By New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz
Updated January 30, 2012 18:50:35
Work has begun in New Zealand to demolish one of the suburbs damaged beyond repair by the Christchurch earthquakes.
The eastern suburb of Bexley, which was home to hundreds of residents, will not be rebuilt.
The ground beneath Bexley liquefied in the first quake in September 2010, and did so again in February last year, causing houses to subside up to two metres.
A geotechnical review deemed the land unsuitable for rebuilding.