Andy McElroy (IDHA 16) recently posted a multitude of articles featured by UNISDR: “El Nino threat to the Pacific” focusing on the rising concerns of El Nino on the Pacific this year, “Pacific moves on targets and indicators” discussing the Disaster Resilience Meeting and its findings, “Sendai ‘groundbreaking’ on inclusion” emphasizing the revolutionary influence of the Sendai Framework on the inclusion of people living with disabilities,“Vanuatu Builds Resilience” highlighting the recovery and relief efforts being implemented after the recent destruction of Hurricane Pam, “Resilience two metres above sea-level“featuring the island nation of Tokelau and the troubles that it faces in being so isolated, and “Cook Islands’ online menu for resilience” reporting on how the Cook Islands have found success in an increased disaster risk response effort.
Monthly Archives: October 2015
On Monday, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Afghanistan, sending tremors to cities across South Asia. The quake resulted in devastation and destruction emanating from the epicenter in northern Afghanistan, and reaching as far as Pakistan, Tajikistan and India. The devastation was felt most significantly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and government officials from both countries declared emergencies and ordered military units to join the response.
Disaster officials report that over 340 people have died, with at least 245 casualties occurring in neighboring Pakistan. More than 7,000 homes in Afghanistan alone have been damaged or destroyed. Rescue efforts and attempts to gauge the damage and death toll have been severely hindered by aftershocks, landslides, power outages and telecommunications failures.
Security has also proven to be a problem, as the northern part of Afghanistan has long been affected by militant violence including most recently an intense Taliban offensive. Particularly in Afghanistan’s eastern and northeastern provinces, the earthquake adds another layer of hardship to families, many of whom are now left homeless with winter soon approaching.
Although the Taliban has issued a statement ordering their fighters to “lend their complete help to the victims and facilitate those giving charity to the needy,” concerns remain among the aid worker community, especially with Afghanistan’s status as the most dangerous country for aid workers. Only last month, an MSF hospital in the northern city of Kunduz was bombed by American warplanes while war casualties continue to rise as Afghan government forces battle to halt the Taliban’s expanding reach. Earlier this month, a United Nations employee was fatally shot in Kandahar Province by an unknown assailant.
Despite the remaining security concerns, the United Nations is mobilizing and coordinating a response to the disaster, while humanitarian agencies such as the Afghan Red Crescent Society continue to assert their neutrality in order to access and assist the most vulnerable in this conflict-torn and now disaster-affected region.
MHCE 11 Course Participants Bishnu Waiba, Sarah Wakeen, Jennifer van Wyck and Caitlin Cockroft-McKay, students from Nepal, the USA, Canada, and the UK, just before the closing ceremony when certificates were given out by Course Directors Larry Hollingworth, Lynne Jones, and Peter Ventevogel.
Dave Tarantino, M.D., MPH (IDHA 27), has started a new position at International Medical Corps (IMC) in Washington, D.C. as Senior Physician, Medical Planning and Preparedness. He will be working to strengthen IMC’s domestic and international humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness and response efforts.
Patricia C. Aragonés recently joined the Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation (CIHC), partner organization of the IIHA, as a part-time consultant to assist the CIHC with its strategic initiatives and resource development. She has been part of the CIHC/IIHA family for many years, since graduating from IDHA 7 and HNTC 1. Patricia will be drawing on her 12+ years as a member of the executive team between 2002-14 of Fabretto Children’s Foundation to help CIHC establish a strategic fundraising and development plan. Fabretto, one of IIHA’s practicum partners, is dedicated to empowering youth and communities in Nicaragua through education and economic development and experienced a ten-fold increase in growth between 2002-14. Patricia also brings legal and private sector experience, having worked as a corporate attorney with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton and as a start-up business development advisor. Her keen interest in social justice and humanitarian law has led her to also collaborate on human rights and transitional justice projects in various countries and serve as an election monitor. Patricia is a graduate of Georgetown University, Columbia Law School and holds a certificate in not-for-profit management from Columbia Business School.
Alumni Update: Robin Anderson, Ph.D. (Communications and Media in Humanitarian Affairs Course Co-Director)
Robin Anderson, Ph.D., Fordham University Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication and Media Studies and Co-director of the IIHA’s Communications and Media in Humanitarian Affairs course was featured in Fordham news this past August. In the article, Robin analyzes the effects that the misrepresentative media reports had on Katrina residents post-disaster. She speaks about how the television show Treme was able to remedy and accurately recount the events as they actually did happen.