Afghanistan + 1 more

ADRA prepares global response

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Silver Spring, Maryland -The Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA) is sending its rapid assessment team to Tajikistan to conduct a needs assessment in order to be prepared for the possible movement of refugees into the Central Asian republics.
"Preparedness is a critical part of disaster response," states Mario Ochoa, Executive Vice President of ADRA International."The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is anticipating that more than 1.5 million people may flee if conflict develops. With winter setting in throughout the mountains of Central Asia, the toll will be horrendous for the unprepared."

The team is anticipating that the first immediate needs will include food, health programming, clean water, and shelter. Constructing and maintaining refugee camps will require tents, health and hygiene kits, bedding, water, and sanitation facilities. Coordination with other non-governmental organizations and identifying the ADRA network=B9s capacity to respond to a refugee crisis are critical parts of the planning process.

Tajikistan is a mountainous country slightly smaller than Wisconsin. The worse drought in fifty years brought the nation to the brink of famine late last year. Mountain winter temperatures are often as low as =AD50 degrees Fahrenheit (-45 degrees Centigrade) and heavy snow closes mountain passes five months of the year.

ADRA International has established a "9-11 Fund" in recognition of those whose lives were destroyed and affected by the suicide attacks on September 11. As a global response to potential future threats moves forward, the agency is evaluating its response capabilities.

Donations to ADRA=B9s "9-11 Fund" can be made in the United States by calling toll-free to 800-424-ADRA (2372). Outside of the US, call +301-680-6350. Or donate by logging onto www.adra.org.

ADRA is present in more than 120 nations and provides individual and community relief and development without regard to age, ethnicity, or political or religious association. The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations granted ADRA general consultative status in 1997.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Norma J Sahlin
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Development Bureau
ADRA International
301-680-6355 (voice)
301-680-6370 (fax)
301-529-0500 (nationwide cell phone)