Thursday, February 02, 2006

IRC Briefing - Q&A and conlcusion

Q&A:

UN--how good: not as good as they had hoped for. Because it is a more difficult situation, too.

Role of the INdia-Pak Conflict: Actually helping. IRC had been asking permission to go in and work in kashmir for years and been denied.

Cost of proiding health care: 5-10 dollars per person per year. (Kenya and Tanzania is 2-3 dollars.) US 5260 dollars per year.

Drugs donated?: The practice of relief medicine has advance over the last few years--there are pre-packaged kits available now and we ask for them to be deployed as we fly out.

Psychologic care: What people need is their lives normalized. We stress a lot on psych-social are--re-uniting kids with parents. Providing spaces where they can feel safe. Providing work to surviviors--all of a sudden, they have control on their lives.

Are there trust issues towards Westerners and International Agencies: Interesting thing is that the local staff had always heard of the Tribal Areas as the boogeyman woods of their childhood--but were very surprised and moved by the response they got and the suffering.

Orphans, how many? And are you planning to talk to expats from India/Pakistan here?: Did a presentation in NY to the Asia Society with people from all over the South Asian regions. About children, don't have exact numbers, but thousands. But this is a very close-knit communities and most kids were brought, almost without thinking, into the care of extended family. Families would actively seek out children that had been evacuated. The IRC had child protection staff dedicated to helping with child issues, too.

Also, the winter hasn't been as bad as expected. But we might need just as much help next winter, too, since the scale of this so large.

Conclusion from a SF-based Board Member: What was presented was only a sliver of the IRC work. And most of the places they work, unlike Pakistan, have the added layer of day-to-day terror and war on top of disaster.
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