|Disaster Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Policy (International Committee of the Red Cross , 1993, 11 p.)|
National Societies should concentrate upon the following social aspects of rehabilitation:
· Ensuring the follow-up of victims, assessing their needs and resources and giving support, encouragement and guidance.
· Keeping in contact with concerned authorities and community agencies for co-ordination purposes, through a specially designated person.
· Helping arrange for the resumption of children schooling, in co-operation with the proper authorities, if there is a prolonged shelter operation.
· Planning or continuing activities that will contribute to the rehabilitation effort, such as: recreational programmes, special programmes for the elderly and the disabled (e.g. day centres).
In general National Societies will only play a peripheral role in economic rehabilitation. Where they do play a role, their programmes should aim to:
· Target those individuals and families whose economic security has been most threatened by the disaster.
· Replace household economic assets lost in the disaster, such as tools, seeds, agricultural animals.
· Where old economic activities cannot be restored National Societies should consider programmes to stimulate the growth of new activities which will be directly accessible by the most vulnerable.
Just as every disaster is different, every rehabilitation programme will take place in a unique set of circumstances. Nevertheless, experience in past disasters suggests that the National Societies should use the following principles.
· Many victims do not need help in making future plans only the resources to implement them.
· Economic and social planning should meet the needs of the victims, not the planners.
· Disasters bring out latent problems; economic, social and emotional.
· Disaster victims need to have confidence in National Society personnel in order to accept counselling or assistance in community organisation programmes. As far as possible, National Society personnel should be appointed with the expectation of remaining over the emergency period and into the rehabilitation period.
· There is a need to maintain contact between the National Society personnel and the victims. This is very important because after the first emotional public reaction, disaster victims are usually left alone to cope with their problems.
· Communities as well as individuals need help during this phase. National Society personnel skilled in community work (community development, community organisation) can play a key role in helping the community to: focus on the problems, mobilise resources, get organised.
Prolonged welfare assistance may sometimes make it difficult for disaster victims to resume control over their lives. To this end, social welfare workers should remember that they are their to help people help themselves.
In this context, helping to strengthen community structures and leadership should be a priority.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies promotes the humanitarian activities of National Societies among vulnerable people.
By coordinating international disaster relief and encouraging development support it seeks to prevent and alleviate human suffering.
The Federation, the National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross together constitute the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.