Bangkok is home to roughly 8,000 urban refugees and asylum seekers, primarily originating from Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. As a non-signatory of the 1951 Geneva convention and the 1967 protocol, Thailand, with strict anti-immigration laws and government checkpoints, has become a harsh environment for the refugees and asylum-seekers, as they relentlessly face fears of detention and have no means of supporting themselves through employment.
In order to help the flood victims in Ecuador rebuild their homes, Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation distributed monetary aid after the work-for-relief program was completed. More than 2000 families received the monetary aid, which ranged from 300 to 500 US dollars. The affected residents also expressed their deepest gratitude to Tzu Chi volunteers.
After the end of Tzu Chi’s Work-for-relief program, Tzu Chi volunteers distribute monetary aid to 2043 families affected by the flood in Santa Ana and Portoviejo in Ecuador.
In October of 2016, Hurricane Matthew devastated the southwest region of Haiti, leaving at least 1,000 dead and 1.4 million in need of humanitarian aid. Tzu Chi Foundation deployed its volunteers to implement its post-disaster recovery programs in the most devastated cities of Jérémie and Les Cayes. Two of these programs were the cash-for-work and hot meal services. The cash-for-work programs, instituted in Jérémie, tasked willing locals with either cleaning city streets or assisting with the assembly of temporary shelters with home-repair materials provided by Tzu Chi.
The West African Ebola outbreak that took the World by surprise may have been over, going on two years now, but those the virus infected and survived are still struggling with many health and socio-economic challenges. The disease may no longer be present in the region, but affected persons and communities are yet to get over the nightmare and move on with life. The World may no longer view Ebola as imminent threat to life, but those who lost their loved ones are still mourning and psychologically traumatized in the aftermath.
It has been over three months since Typhoon Nockten struck the Philippines. The storm was particularly devastating to Catanduanes. Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation has been making regular visits to help families rebuild. At the end of March, Tzu Chi volunteers in Philippines successfully completed the fifth aid distribution since the disaster.