Turkey: Earthquake in Bingol Province Appeal No. 09/2003 Interim Final Report

Situation Report
Originally published


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In Brief

Appeal No. 09/2003; Interim final report;

Period covered: 2 May 2003 to 30 July 2004

Final appeal coverage: 100 % Please click here to go directly to the attached interim financial report.

Appeal history/chronology of events:

- 1 May 2003: An earthquake of 6.4 on the Richter scale hits south-eastern Turkey, killing over 170 people, and injuring another 521. The Turkish Red Crescent responds immediately by rushing in search and rescue teams, a field hospital, a mobile clinic and basic relief items, tents, water, food, blankets and clothes, from its emergency stocks.

- 2 May 2003: The Federation, after consultations with the national society, issues an emergency appeal for CHF 2,384,000 (USD 1,874,850 or EUR 1,552,840) for six months to help the Turkish Red Crescent assist 36,000 people affected by the disaster. The immediate priorities include mobilizing international resources to support the national society in meeting emergency health, food and psycho-social needs of the affected population. Please click here for Emergency Appeal.

- 14 May 2003: The Federation issues a second update on the progress of the operation. The initial donor response to the appeal is limited. The appeal coverage stands at 13.6 per cent. The Federation urges its partners to provide additional contributions, with an emphasis on unearmarked funds to ensure enough flexibility in the implementation of the operation. Please click here for Operations Update no.2.

- 19 July 2004: Emergency relief activities in the earthquake affected Bingol town and surrounding villages end. Red Crescent volunteers and staff deployed for the operation return to their branches and efforts are directed towards integrating the lessons learned into ongoing programmes of the Red Crescent. The Federation issues a revised appeal to reflect the shifted priorities of the operation from emergency to rehabilitation as well as a changed plan of action in light of the low response to the original appeal. The focus is on strengthening Red Crescent disaster management capacities to ensure the national society is prepared to respond to future calamities. Attention is directed towards integration of psycho-social work into Turkish Red Crescent branch development, establishment of a disaster management centre in the earthquake area, training of Red Crescent staff and volunteers, procurement of mobile kitchens and canvas for the production of tents to the Red Crescent's stock. The original budget target CHF 2,384,000 is reduced to CHF 1,418,000 and the operation's timeframe is extended until 31 December 2003.

- January 2004: The government of Turkey publishes its decision, on the basis of the provisions in the national law, to replace the members of the central committees, the headquarters executive board and board of auditors of the Turkish Red Crescent. A new chairman of the central committee and the headquarters executive board are appointed. The new provisional board takes over the organisation. The change-over affects all ongoing operations of the national society. Implementation of the activities planned under the revised emergency appeal for Bingol as well as other programmes supported by the Federation and other Movement components in Turkey is slowed. Predicting inevitable delays, the Federation further extends the timeframe of the programme until 30 June 2004. In absence of new contributions, the budget is further reduced to CHF 1,223,652. After consultations with partners, CHF 340,000 is reallocated from other emergency operations to cover the outstanding needs in Bingol.

- Mach 2004: The Federation re-discusses and agrees approaches to the operation with the new management of the Turkish Red Crescent. Priorities, as well as the budget, remain the same. To accommodate all projected activities, the time-frame of the programme is extended once again until 30 June 2004.

- 30 June 2004: The emergency operation is completed with few outstanding activities, namely the procurement of canvas for the production of tents has yet to be finalised (see explanation below); the canvas is expected to be delivered in September 2004. The current report outlines major achievements and constraints experienced by the national society in the implementation of the current emergency operation. In light of few outstanding activities, however, the final report is planned to be published in October 2004. All activities described below under the analysis of the operation were supported by the Federation and partner national society through the emergency appeal.

Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: Turkey Annual Appeal 2003 (01.80/2003).
Turkey Annual Appeal 2004 (01.79/2004).

Background and Summary

On 1 May 2004, south-eastern Turkey was rocked by an earthquake, registering 6.4 on the Richter scale and killing over 170 people, many of them schoolchildren trapped in a dormitory. According to official statistics some 521 people were injured. The worst affected areas were Bingol and surrounding towns and villages, including Celtiksuyu, Sancak and Cimenli. The collapse of the dormitory was the worst single tragedy killing 85 children and one teacher. 115 children were rescued.

People suffered considerably, both mentally and physically and the region's infrastructure was damaged. Bingol province has a population of 260,000 of which 75,000 lives in the city centre. Located in the eastern part of the country, it is one of the poorest provinces of Turkey. Infant mortality rate there is 60 per cent per 1,000. Some 56 per cent of the families living in the villages do not have access to running water; the country's average is 17 per cent.

Crisis intervention work progressed rapidly with nearly all dead and missing discovered within three days. Turkish Red Crescent sent a team of 25 volunteers from Mus and Erzincan Branches to carry out search and rescue operations. They rushed in relief materials, including: tents and blankets, five tonnes of food, nine mobile kitchens (to serve 20,000 people a day), a field hospital with 50 beds and a mobile clinic, four ambulances and five generators. Shortly after the earthquake, Turkish Red Crescent volunteers were on the disaster site providing water and food to the victims. Some 2,000 people were assisted and 1,000 food parcels were distributed on the first day. The Turkish Red Crescent distributed over 14,000 tents and more than 18,000 blankets. Affected families were also provided with 700 hygiene and 400 baby food parcels from the Turkish Red Crescent emergency stocks. The national society distributed over 3,000 pieces of clothing to families in need. In tandem with the emergency relief, the Turkish Red Crescent provided psychological support to victims of the earthquake to help people cope with their emotional, psychological and behavioural needs. 5,542 adults, children and rescue workers were helped to emotionally rebuild their lives. The focus was on encouraging community participation to promote self-reliance. Over 4,000 brochures were distributed to help people cope with the trauma and stress.

After relief activities in outlying villages and Bingol town itself ended, Red Crescent volunteers and staff deployed for the operation returned to their branches. The emergency intervention was completed and the Federation shifted its focus on strengthening the Turkish Red Crescent disaster management capacity to ensure effective response during future calamities. The focus was on:

- Development of groups of psycho-social support trainers and volunteers, and

- Procurement of canvas for the production of tents and protection boxes for the Turkish Red Crescent's emergency field equipment.

The operation has now been completed. Most of the objectives of the emergency as well as rehabilitation phase of the operation have been met. The only outstanding activity, that has yet to be finalised, is the delivery of the canvas for the production of tents. The procurement has been delayed because of several reasons including technical problems and a slow response from the national society on specific ations for canvas. A supplier has now been identified, an order has been placed and delivery is expected in early September 2004. Payment will be made shortly after the commodities arrive in Turkey. This will be reported to our partners through a final report in October 2004.

Lessons learned:

- Experience from 1991/2001 earthquakes came into play: the national society was better organised this time. It acted quickly and effectively.

- Coordination with other stakeholders -- the local authorities and non-governmental organisatio ns - was good.

- The national society was open to the media and responded to a number of local as well as international interview requests.

- Its efforts were appreciated by beneficiaries and partners.

- The presence of the delegation in Ankara enabled to collect information on the disaster and its consequences within a short time. The Federation was in regular contact with national society staff. Its representatives left for the disaster area immediately to offer technical support to the Red Crescent. Emergency appeal was issued within a day after the earthquake.

The operation was successful and it offered a good learning opportunity for the national society. At the same time, however, it surfaced a number of areas that need to be improved. Namely, the Red Crescent has to:

- Continue discussion with the government to re-define its responsibilities and roles in emergency preparedness and response, as well as disaster mitigation.

- Strengthen communication within the organisation and improve coordination between its various departments.

- Dedicate more resources to public education.

The lessons learned have been discussed with the national society and will form the basis of the Federation's support strategy to the Turkish Red Crescent.

Financial analysis: As discussed above, the initial donor response to the appeal was limited. The poor response combined with operational constraints prompted the Federation to revise the plan of action and reduce the budget twice by 51.3 per cent from CHF 2,384,000 to CHF 1,223,652. The total income was CHF 1,288,533 (54 per cent of the originally requested amount).

The Federation and the Turkish Red Crescent are grateful to the partners that responded. Their contribution enabled the national society to implement most of the planned activities. The main donors were:

- German Red Cross (DNDE) CHF 159,990

- Irish Government (DGIE) CHF 152,250

- Austrian Red Cross (DNAT) CHF 152,250

- Singapore Red Cross (DNSG) CHF 87,000

- Japanese Red Cross (DNJP) CHF 75,190

- British Red Cross (DNGB) CHF 65,070

- Norwegian Red Cross (DNNO) CHF 58,670

An additional CHF 340,000 was reallocated from other emergency operations to cover the outstanding needs.

The expenditure to date is estimated at CHF 1,261,225 (97.9 per cent of the income). The amount includes provisions for the canvas for Red Crescent tents.

The operation has an estimated balance of CHF 27,307; to be confirmed in the final report due after the procurement of canvas has been finalised. The amount was budgeted to support the establishment of the Red Crescent disaster management centre and training of Red Crescent staff in first aid, monitoring and reporting. The activities, however, were not implemented because of recent changes in the leadership of the national society that slowed decision making in the Red Crescent and affected all programmes supported by the Federation and other Movement components in Turkey.

Donors are requested to allow the transfer of the balance from the emergency operation to support the Federation's ongoing work with the national society within the appeal 2004 as described in the programme update no 1 on the annual appeal 2004.

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