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14 Dec 2009 description
report Medair

Ecublens - Over the past six years, Medair responded to sudden emergencies while also strengthening our rehabilitation work to make a long-lasting impact on vulnerable communities. Our teams worked in Afghanistan, Angola, D.R. Congo, Indonesia, Iran, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Sri Lanka

Medair was on-the-ground in Sri Lanka within 24 hours of the deadly Asian tsunami, and operational in five days. We worked in a neglected fishing village to secure safe drinking water and provide temporary shelters for the most vulnerable.

25 Dec 2007 description
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Medair Serves the Most Vulnerable -- In the second part of this feature article, we examine the disasters and other crises that contribute to the vulnerability of our beneficiaries.

Disasters

In the past 50 years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of natural disasters worldwide, and indications suggest that this trend will continue.(1) Climate change is the most prominently mentioned contributing factor, along with intensified concentrations of people living in vulnerable habitats.(2)

Many deadly natural disasters occur suddenly, such as earthquakes, windstorms, …

07 Nov 2007 description
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Medair's Hylton Cannon talks with earthquake survivors living in the mountains of Pakistan's Poonch District.

The other day, I was driving up the Sabini Hills pass, at about 8,500 feet above sea level, when I caught sight of a man working on the roof of his shelter. It was one of the thousands of temporary shelters that Medair distributed after the 2005 earthquake.

I stopped to talk with the man, whose name was Mr. Muhammad Shabir. He told me that he was checking the roofing bolts of his temporary shelter. "Winter is coming," he said.

15 Nov 2006 description
report Medair

Pakistan -- In the village of Bhangli, the houses cling to the mountainside at an altitude of 2,000 metres. You can just about make them out, hidden between the trees and the fields of maize. Medair is the only NGO to work here, just 100 km from the epicentre of the earthquake. This region suffered greatly in the aftermath of the earthquake on account of its poverty. The houses made of dried earth were destroyed and the people lost what little they had.

Here and there, something glints in the sun on the side of the mountain.

05 Oct 2006 description
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"I have learned some hygiene rules that I didn't know before, like how to wash my hands," explains Wajid, 12, rubbing his hands together. "It's the first time that anyone has come to explain that to us. I think it's important, because dirty people can catch illnesses!"

The Land Rover stops, as the road is blocked by a mound of earth and an enormous rock. In this remote region of Pakistani Kashmir in the rainy season, roads are often made impassable by landslides.

02 Mar 2006 description
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Heather Amstutz, (Medair)

Thanks to the early arrival of spring weather in the Kashmir mountains, Medair teams are finishing up the last distributions of relief supplies and beginning the planning and coordination of the recovery phase for areas devastated by last Octobers earthquake. A full recovery from the massive scale of destruction will take many years to complete, in the meantime, Medair will be supporting the rebuilding of homes, schools and clinics this summer to ensure that earthquake survivors are well on their way to recovery before next winter.

Over the last few months, …

31 Jan 2006 description
report Medair

Heather Amstutz, Country Director

The onset of harsh winter conditions in Kashmir began in early January with heavy snow, rain, and a drastic drop in temperatures. Landslides blocked roads while fog and rain halted helicopter flights, increasing the logistical challenges for Medair staff working in the mountainous area of Poonch District, Kashmir.

14 Dec 2005 description
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Heather Amstutz, (Country Director)

10 Nov 2005 description
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Heather Amstutz, Country Director

Marine is nine years old. Her home village of Kalamonda lies high in the hills of Hajira, above the snow line and is accessible only by a narrow, hand-hewn road that climbs along the steep mountain ridges. Her story is typical of many families in Poonch District who have been devastatingly affected but are often overshadowed by 'bigger' stories in Muzaffarabad, Balakot and Bagh.

In the earthquake of 8 October, Marine's father and brother were killed in their home.

03 Nov 2005 description
report Medair

With time running out before the deadly onset of freezing winter conditions, Medair has been trekking from village to village, urgently working to locate and provide shelter to the most isolated and vulnerable families in the mountainous Poonch District of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, where they are the only international NGO on-the-ground.

01 Nov 2005 description
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Driving along the tortuous mountain road between the villages of Mangora and Mirchkot, I spotted the first shelter built in the Mangora. Two days ago, we built a demonstration shelter in Mangora to show the community how a winter shelter could be constructed using simple techniques in less than three hours.

26 Oct 2005 description
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Heather Amstutz, Country Director

24 Oct 2005 description
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Robert Schofield (Emergency Desk Officer)

19 Oct 2005 description
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Heather Amstutz, Country Director

Hassad Muhommed worries that the simple shelter he and his neighbours built, will not protect his family during the harsh winter months. His mountain village in Kalidrummond, Kashmir was virtually destroyed by the earthquake 10 days ago, with approximately 80% of the homes now demolished.

17 Oct 2005 description
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Heather Amstutz, Medair Country Director, phoned from Rawalakot this morning, "the damage to homes is extensive and people are having to sleep outside, under the stars. In just one village we visited, Khali Drammond, 900 families had their houses completely demolished by the earthquake, another 1,500 families have partial damage to their homes. To compound these devastating conditions, there was torrential rain and hailstorms over the weekend.

15 Oct 2005 description
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"Schools and homes are extensively damaged in Rawalakot district and we only have until the end of November to distribute winter tents before the snow comes" reports Kathleen Pearce, Medair's emergency assessment team leader in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Medair's team is currently in Rawalakot, 100km east of Islamabad, in order to make a rapid assessment of priority needs and to provide emergency relief items to those most vulnerable.

13 Oct 2005 description
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Robert Schofield (Emergency Desk Officer)

Medair's emergency assessment team will arrive by road this afternoon to Rawalakot, 100km east of Islamabad, in order to make a rapid assessment of priority needs and to provide blankets and plastic sheeting to those most vulnerable. Reports from other aid agencies indicate 90% of the buildings in Rawalakot were affected by Saturday's earthquake. Early indications suggest huge needs as the population of the District is 500,000.

12 Oct 2005 description
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Lausanne, 12 October 2005 - Kathleen Pearce, Medair's Emergency Response Team Leader is coordinating, with key aid agencies and UN agencies in Islamabad, before heading up to the earthquake zone 80km north. She will be joined tomorrow by Medair's Logistician who will begin setting up a logistics pipeline for emergency relief supplies.