South Asia: American Red Cross Tsunami Recovery Program - Plan of action
Within hours after a tsunami devastated more than a dozen countries on December 26, 2004, the American Red Cross launched a comprehensive disaster response plan.
The plan called for the immediate deployment of personnel, financial support and emergency relief supplies to the affected areas, all in coordination with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (the Movement).
On January 7, 2005, the American Red Cross released a comprehensive tsunami relief program statement describing its intention to provide immediate assistance through food and safe water distribution, emergency healthcare and disease prevention, immediate family supplies, psychosocial support and disaster preparedness and prevention measures.
Following a tremendous outpouring of public support, the American Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the Federation) announced on January 26, 2005, that they would suspend further fundraising activities for tsunami relief.
Recognizing the extraordinary effort required to provide assistance quickly and efficiently, the American Red Cross was committed to ensuring the coordination of aid efforts from the very beginning. All activities consider the ongoing programs and plans of governments, other Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, United Nations agencies and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
The American Red Cross also recognizes the important role of the respective governments, which have overall responsibility for recovery efforts within their borders, and is dedicated to ensuring coordination with governments and their National Societies. Staff members are fully engaged in coordination mechanisms -- in the affected areas and at national headquarters -- to ensure that important services are not duplicated or omitted.
In the six months after the tsunami struck, more than $100 million was spent addressing critical needs through emergency response activities in tsunami-affected countries. During those six months, individuals and businesses donated more than $556 million to the American Red Cross. This generous support enabled the organization to provide immediate relief assistance, initiate recovery activities and develop long-term support programs.
The chart below shows emergency response expenditures and current projections of allocations in support of tsunami recovery plans.
Money donated to the American Red Cross for the Tsunami Recovery Program will help rebuild communities and restore livelihoods and services to tsunami survivors. It will also help them to be better prepared to mitigate the effects of similar disasters in the future. This integrated approach will --
- Help individuals and communities recover from the disaster and address the chronic needs of the most vulnerable.
- Ensure that communities have effective disaster preparedness plans and skills to reduce the negative effects of future disasters.
- Restore the homes, communities, services and livelihoods of those affected through work with partner organizations that offer complementary expertise.
The American Red Cross has found through its experience with many large-scale disaster relief efforts that there are invariably needs that emerge in the later years of the recovery process. To address those needs, the remaining donations have been reserved for those interventions.
THE PLAN OF ACTION
Needs vary from country to country, as do the services offered by the American Red Cross as part of the Movement. In addition to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies working in the tsunami-affected areas, hundreds of other agencies are active in the region. American Red Cross services are focused on our core areas of expertise, matched with the needs of tsunami survivors and carried out through partnerships with the affected Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, other partners in the Movement and other global humanitarian organizations.
The Tsunami Recovery Program Plan of Action concentrates on three core categories:
1. Community Health and Disease Control
2. Disaster Preparedness
3. Community Restoration and Rebuilding
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All American Red Cross disaster assistance is provided at no cost, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. The Red Cross also supplies nearly half of the nation's lifesaving blood. This, too, is made possible by generous voluntary donations. To help the victims of disaster, you may make a secure online credit card donation or call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Or you may send your donation to your local Red Cross or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013. To donate blood, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543), or contact your local Red Cross to find out about upcoming blood drives..
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