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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Remembrance Week - 26th December, 2005 - 1st January, 2006

WWH Remembrance WeekLast year, on the 26th December, an earthquake, and then a tsunami, killed, wounded, or impoverished hundreds of thousands of people in South Asia.

During the course of the year, other disasters took their toll too. Most devastating of them: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the South-East coast of the USA; and another enormous earthquake near Pakistan's border with India.

These disasters took their immediate toll, and, each time, the world tried to help. But as calamity piled upon calamity, there has been a certain amount of fatigue. Perhaps people's stock of goodwill has run low. Perhaps seeing too much suffering hardens us.

But, the fact is, the suffering from those disasters has not ceased. Parts of South Asia have still not recovered from December 26th, 2004. In the USA, normalcy hasn't returned to New Orleans. In Pakistan, thousands are still homeless, and may not survive the harsh Himalayan winter.

They need your help.

Last December and this January, the online community came together as never before to help in the aid efforts in South-East Asia. The lessons learned there were put to use, and improved upon, when the other tragic events of the year unfolded.

Can we harness that goodwill, that togetherness, that willingness to help once more?

The WorldWideHelp group would like you to join us in Remembrance Week. Here's what we suggest you do.

WWH Remembrance WeekUse your blogs, your home pages, your wikis, your newsletters. Link to your favourite charities and NGOs, write a paragraph about them and the work they are doing, and ask your readers to make a donation. (If you'd like to find some more charities and NGOs, please take a look at this page on our TsunamiHelp wiki, this one on our KatrinaHelp wiki, or this one on our QuakeHelp wiki.)

Please link back to this page to help pass the word. You can use the image above.

Please use this Technorati Tag: .
Here's the code:
<a href="http://www.technorati.com/tag/disaster%20remembrance%20week" rel="tag">Disaster Remembrance Week</a>

In this post, we have a few more banners and buttons, with intructions on the code you must post to use them.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Oxfam Auction for Victims

Many celebrities sat for photos with Greg Williams to help Oxfam International’s "Make Trade Fair," an awareness campaign to end unfair international trade practices. Now Oxfam America is auctioning these autographed, one of a kind, pieces of art – in order to help victims of Katrina and Pakistan’s earthquake. In an eBay auction starting December 21 and ending 3 p.m. December 31, Oxfam America will be auctioning framed, autographed posters of Chris Martin, Colin Firth, Minnie Driver, and Djimon Hounsou. All the money raised from this auction will help Katrina victims and hundreds of thousand of displaced Pakistanis who now face a brutal winter.

You can place your bids here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Relief group calls for help to Pakistan quake survivors

With thousands of earthquake survivors facing severe winter in the mountainous regions of northern Pakistan, the head of Oxfam GB has warned that help must arrive soon to prevent a second humanitarian catastrophe. Oxfam is the UK branch of an emergency relief organization. Oxfam International is supervising the charity's earthquake response operations in Pakistan. Oxfam has called for the United Nations to be given more resources in order to co-ordinate and bolster the relief effort. The UN is trying to scale up its operations but is hindered by lack of funding, it said.

According to an Oxfam press release, the UN has received less than half of the money it requested for its initial response to the October earthquake, while many pledges for the second phase ofreconstruction have similarly failed to materialize. Of the 551 million US dollars requested for the UN emergency appeal, it said, less than 230 million dollars has reached the UN. Additionally, whereas 1.1 billion dollars was promised for Pakistan's reconstruction efforts, less than 800 million dollars has materialized. Many of these pledges were in any case loans rather than grants. Oxfam has urged donor governments to match the generosity of public donations. With winter bringing freezing temperatures, thousands may soon die unless resources for better shelter and improved camp management arrives quickly. Read More....


Source: Xinhua

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Menu for Hope II

Pim Techamuanvivit, fellow contributor to the SEA-EAT blog, and well-known food blogger, presents a way for you to help the survivors of the Kashmir quake. Donate US$5 at her A Menu for Hope II page at Firstgiving, and you could win any of the great stuff she has listed here.

Funds collected via A Menu for Hope II go straight to UNICEF. The tote board stands at US$4,438 as of this time, and will stay open until December 24th. Prizes will be announced January 1st, 2006.

Wonderful idea, Pim.

The "donate" link once more: A Menu for Hope II - http://www.firstgiving.com/menuforhopeII.

Do pass this on, please.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Eid-ul-Adha is few weeks away..donate.

Appeal to muslims:

Eid-ul-adha(the Festival of Sacrifice) is just few weeks away and we should plan early and donate sheep, cow or whatever you are planning to slaughter's money to earth quake victims. Average animal cost around $100 (RS 6000) and if every muslim share the same thought we can build new homes for victims.

Please donate to whatever agency you prefer, In my opinion Edhi Foundation is doing best job for couple of decades and we should make edhi more strong by donating as much as possible.

During my visit to edhi home in Islamabad last month. I was surprise to see Edhi working himself and arranging all the clothes sent by people.

http://www.edhifoundation.com/


Happy Hajj & Eid-ul Adha to all muslim brother and sister.

Imran Hashmi
www.hashmi.ca

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

MSF Choppers Available for NGOs!

MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) Holland has offered the humanitarian community access to its two Muzaffarabad based A350 ‘Squirrel’ helicopters. Requests can be made by NGOs, to conduct assessment flights in the affected area and for transport of personnel. However, agencies should note that the ‘Squirrels’ have a limited cargo capacity of approximately 350kg.

Any NGO or aid agency wishing to avail themselves of this offer may contact the MSF Holland logistics team on 0300 852 6616 or via e-mail: msfh-abbottabad at field.amsterdam.msf.org, to obtain further details.


Source: UNJLC Team (Pakistan)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Road and Air Transportation Updates from UNJLC

Roads' Network Status: The deteriorating weather conditions are now a major source of concern to all parties participating in the relief effort. UNJLC, in conjunction with various partners, including UN DSS and WFP, will provide regular updates on the conditions of the key humanitarian road corridors over the coming weeks and months.

UNJLC Muzaffarabad will act as a focal point to provide regular updates on road conditions and welcomes inputs from all operational partners. NGOs operating in the Muzaffarabad area can obtain road assessment forms either from the UNJLC team based at the UN compound or by contacting 0300 856 0168 or 0300 856 5968 for further details. UNJLC is also conducting other assessments in the area, including a fuel survey. The UNJLC Muzaffarabad team also encourages all humanitarian agencies operating in the district to attend the logistics cluster meeting scheduled for 19:00 on Tuesdays in the UN compound.

UNJLC is also investigating the potential use of assets such as the NATO/Luxembourg MD-900 helicopters to conduct rapid verification missions, subject to its availability. The key to the success of monitoring the road network will be the acquisition of information from all parties on the ground. UNJLC encourages all NGOs to submit road reports to either their local UNJLC field coordination team or to provide information via SMS to 0300 856 4252 or by e-mail to: pakistan.roads@unjlc.org

Nato Air Bridge Status: UNJLC claims that, contrary to reports from some sources, the NATO air bridge has not closed. The military aircrafts operating principally out of Incirlik, Turkey, have been stood down, but remain subject to recall if necessary. In addition,
civilian charter flights continue to be arranged, as funds permit. So whilst the intensity of the operation has reduced, NATO will still consider validated requests for the transportation of high priority relief cargo. UN agencies and NGOs wishing to avail themselves of this offer should contact the UNJLC Civil Military Coordination unit in Islamabad on 0300 856 0164.


Source: Bulletin#21 - UNJLC (Pakistan)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Igloos could save lives

From a reader (edited):

140,000 people are stranded above the snowline in the Pakistani Himalayan Mountains without access to shelter and 2.7 million are without shelter. Snow may fall anytime and trap hundreds of thousands who will freeze to death.
Aid workers say that the first significant snow of the winter is [will expose] millions of homeless people to the threat of hunger and hypothermia.

Here is a true Innovative Emergency Shelter for Quake Survivors. It has been time-tested in frigid winters, costs nothing to build, and the recipe can be quickly given to a million or more people at a time.

Igloos of snow cost nothing and would give every family a cozy and relatively warm, sturdy place to live immediately and are practical for extreme conditions.

The igloo floors could be laid from concrete and stone debris and would act to store the tiny inside fire's heat to warm the freezing nights. These Inuit and Eskimo traditional techniques would definitely work well and would risk no one's life from heavy building materials falling due to hasty construction by first-time builders.
I propose that millions of simple lightweight instructional leaflets be printed immediately in native languages with drawings from the websites listed below. The leaflets and other bundles can be airdropped over survivor's camps for access to ancient forgotten tribal techniques of living in frigid snowy climes. Your bilingual workers would need to translate the package of instructions for igloo building technology.

Please look up the following web sites for pictures and descriptions of how to build igloos:

http://collections.ic.gc.ca/cape_dorset/dwell1.html

http://collections.ic.gc.ca/cape_dorset/dwell2.html

http://collections.ic.gc.ca/cape_dorset/inter.html

http://collections.ic.gc.ca/cape_dorset/dwell3.html

Extracts:

"After the key block has been inserted the hut is tightly sealed and a lamp is kindled inside. The heated air, having no exit, begins to melt the face of the snow blocks, which rapidly congreals again on admission of cold air from the outside. Ths each snow block is firmly cemented in place and converted to ice on its inner face. Occupation for a few days then gradually changes the interiors of the blocks, so that the structure is no longer a snow house but a house of ice. The transformation gives it remarkable stability; a man can stand on the summit without causing collapse, and half the house can be destroyed without destroying the other half. Consequently by building a series of intersecting domes and omitting or opening up the common egments, an Eskimo can enlarge a small circular hut capable of housing only 1 or 2 families into a community dwelling of 3, 4 or 5 rooms that will house 15 or 20 people."

"...men would take their snow knife and go to their prepared snow field. Once there, starting from the edge they start cutting snow blocks. The packed snow had hardened from the combination of stomp packing and freezing.

Since smaller helicopters can only carry about 165 lbs. in the thin air of the Himalayas, larger military planes would be needed to drop these supplies. I recommend water cans, water purification tablets, dried foodstuffs, long barbecue lighters and machetes (as snow knives) to cut snow blocks. Waste wooden building materials could be split with the machete also and used to produce heat inside the igloos. Also sheets, woolen and space blankets would be vital as the temperature would be about 33 degrees inside the igloo.

James D. Peck caferush2@yahoo.com
Please respond with e-mail or call me at (1)(978)546-5217 to let me know how the plan worked out if you move forward with it. I will try to be available if you have questions.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tremors felt at Drosh, Chitral

An earthquake of mild intensity measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale hit Chitral Thursday on Dec 01, 2005. According to preliminary analysis of Meteorological Station Peshawar, the earthquake originated at 1223 hours and its epicentre was about 300 kilometres north of Peshawar in the Hindukush Range. The quake was also felt at Drosh and other adjoining areas. No casualties were reported.


Source: DAWN

Hundreds of Pneumonia Cases Reported in Affected Areas

Health officials in Pakistan have said that hundreds of people, most of them children, had contracted pneumonia in the earthquake-stricken areas of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.A three-member health team has been sent to Darbang and Nariola villages to evaluate the situation and more teams were expected to arrive from Islamabad in a day or two. The health department in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir has urged the federal ministry of health to send reinforcements. Six mobile teams are expected to reach Muzaffarabad by last Wednesday evening.

Pakistan-controlled Kashmir received its first harsh winter weather at the weekend with up to 8 inches of snowfall at high altitudes and up to 1.2 inches (32 mm) of rain in lower areas. Relief operations resumed on Monday after the weather cleared and continued on Tuesday, but the weather conditions remain cold in the area.


Source: AKI

Fresh quake jolts Pakistan

A moderate earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale jolted northwestern Pakistan early yesterday but there were no reports of casualties. With winter starting to set in, the the focus of the relief effort was shifting towards food as Aid officials fear sickness sweeping through a cold and poorly nourished population will cause a second wave of deaths.


Source: Gulf Daily News

Baby becomes first quake survivor to die of cold

The thing we all feared is starting to happen, with the cold of the Himalyan winter hitting the survivors of the quake.

From The New Zealand Herald

Baby becomes first quake survivor to die of cold

A three-month-old baby has become the first Pakistan earthquake survivor to die of the cold as thousands more face the onset of winter without shelter.

Waqar Mukhtar died hours after he was admitted to hospital in Kashmir with pneumonia.

Relief workers are warning that unless more aid reaches the affected area fast, his may be the first in a new wave of deaths from the earthquake.

Waqar was among the hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors who live in villages on the high mountainsides of Kashmir and neighbouring North-West Frontier Province - mountains where the first snow has just begun to arrive.

He was rushed down the mountainside to hospital in the city of Muzzaffarabad as soon as he fell sick, but it was too late.

In many villages, the survivors are still without adequate shelter, despite desperate pleas from the United Nations and the Pakistani government for more international aid.

Many live under makeshift tents made out of plastic sheeting, or crude shelters they have hammered together from planks and bits of corrugated iron roofing they have salvaged from the ruins of their homes.

Doctors have warned that it is the children who are at gravest risk from the cold without proper shelter.

In many villages, there is only enough room in the tents for the women and youngest children.

Men and boys as young as 14 sleep outside.

Read the full story. Link via Indian Writing.