|Humanitarian Assistance in Disaster Situations:A Guide for Effective Aid (PAHO-OPS, 1999, 20 p.)|
Ö Consult with affected country's Health Disaster Coordinator for information about health needs. Don't start collecting relief items until you have this information.
Ö Whenever possible, donate cash or credit directly to the national health authorities, to international agencies, or channel it through well-established NGOs. Most of the relief items can be purchased locally or in neighboring countries. Cash also can be used to restore the pre-disaster level of health care and to replace national resources that have been diverted from essential programs and used for the emergency.
Ö Assist countries during the preparedness, rehabilitation, and reconstruction phases. An affected country will deplete many of its financial and material resources when responding to the immediate effects of a disaster. While certain types of assistance have high visibility and humanitarian appeal (for instance, search and rescue teams), donors should invest in long-term projects aimed at reconstruction and reducing vulnerability to future disasters (e.g., training, improved water supply systems).
Ö Coordinate the efforts of independent assessment teams or fact-finding missions with those of the affected country and other agencies.
Ö Ensure that an agency is identified in advance that will take responsibility for delivering items to the affected population. Unconsigned relief items should not be sent to a disaster-affected country.
PAHO/WHO, A. Waak