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close this bookHumanitarian Assistance in Disaster Situations:A Guide for Effective Aid (PAHO-OPS, 1999, 20 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
Open this folder and view contentsInternational Health Relief Assistance: Benefit or Burden?
View the documentPrinciples of Humanitarian Assistance
View the documentObtaining International Disaster Relief
View the documentAfter a Disaster Occurs, Do...
View the documentDiscourage Sending...
View the documentConsult Further About Donations of...
View the documentMyths and Realities of Natural Disasters
View the documentEffects of Natural Disasters on Health
View the documentAnnex 1: SUMA
View the documentAnnex 2: Pan American Health Organization. Disaster Contacts
View the documentBack Cover

After a Disaster Occurs, Do...

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.


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PAHO/WHO, A. Waak