The 2015/16 El NiÃ±o cycle is one of the strongest on record. In March this year, 60 million people worldwide were affected by El NiÃ±o related droughts, floods and extreme hot and cold weather, according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation. Whilst this extreme weather pattern is now declining, the danger hasnâ€™t passed as crops have failed in many parts of the world and food insecurity remains. Malnutrition rates have skyrocketed in some countries and thereâ€™s an ongoing need for many populations to gain access to a stable water supply.
RedR has 11 experts currently responding to El NiÃ±o-induced emergencies in seven countries including Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Our experts on the ground include five logisticians with the World Food Programme and UNICEF, three water and sanitation engineers, two emergency coordinators and an emergency preparedness response officer.
RedR deployee Charles Knight observes the drilling of a bore hole at a school in PNG
Water and sanitation engineers Charles Knight, 65, and Jim Sisson, 68, are currently in PNG where they are supporting UNICEF and the International Organisation for Migration to install hand pumps to guarantee a clean water supply for remote communities in the highlands. Almost 20% of PNG's population has had their food security impacted by drought and severe frosts and 162,000 people are facing extreme food shortages. You can read more about Charlesâ€™ lifesaving work here
Next month, weâ€™ll be sending veteran RedR WASH engineer and Associate Trainer, Paul Bolger, to Vietnam where the El NiÃ±o-induced drought has left one million people in urgent need of food aid and two million lacking access to drinking water. The countryâ€™s worst drought in 90 years comes at a time when sea water has encroached up the Mekong River which irrigates the countryâ€™s rich southern Mekong Delta, known as Vietnamâ€™s rice bowl.
Fiji Response Update
Thanks to Australian Government funding and support for our public appeal following Fijiâ€™s Cyclone Winston, we were able to send 12 experts to support the emergency response in Fiji. Tropical Cyclone Winston hit the islands in March this year, flattening villages in the worst affected areas and resulting in 44 deaths. Thanks to our wonderful supporters, we raised $27,557 from our Fiji Appeal.
Four RedR experts remain in Fiji including GIS mapping expert Paul Jaskiernak who was funded through our Emergency Appeal. Thanks to your donations, Paul has introduced GIS mapping capability to the Fijian Ministry of Health which enabled life-saving medical supplies to reach disaster-affected areas quickly and the government to effectively monitor and respond to potential disease outbreaks. You can read more about his work here
Paul Jaskiernak and WHO colleague Anish Prasad review a GIS map used to rapidly detect and respond to signals that might indicate outbreaks and clusters of epidemic-prone diseases.
New Collaboration with Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC)
RedR Australia and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see us collaborate in the area of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
The MOU was signed in Bangkok last month and will see us collaborate on capacity development training and the deployment of experts to emergencies.
The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) was established in 1986 to build the capacities of governments and people on the frontline of disasters. Its work is guided by the principle that disaster-inflicted damages and losses can be mitigated, and even prevented, through well-informed decision-making and actions. The center engages in disaster risk reduction activities throughout the Asia Pacific