The Need for Emergency Response in Developing Nations
Maria stands outside of her home
after an earthquake in Guatemala.
Natural disasters can be devastating for countries
with the most resources, but for developing nations, these powerful events
can be catastrophic over the long term. Without timely emergency response,
millions of children and their family members have a difficult time
reclaiming their homes, jobs and lives.
Just as September is National
Preparedness Month in the United States, it's also a time to remember
those around the world who are most vulnerable in emergency situations. Each
week this month, we will focus on different kinds of crises that affect the
countries ChildFund serves and how we can help.
For many families living in poverty, food scarcity,
inadequate housing and a lack of access to health care are daily challenges
they must face. But in the wake of earthquakes, floods or typhoons, these
problems are compounded. Natural disasters often displace families living in
poverty, and without support, children's lives are at risk. Families need
help rebuilding their lives, and ChildFund's experience in the field and
connections with aid organizations allow us to move efficiently in the days,
weeks and months after a disaster. That's why timely intervention is so
important following natural disasters, particularly in the crucial first hours
and days after a disaster in at-risk communities.
In addition to
the obvious physical danger posed by natural disasters, children are often hit
the hardest by the subsequent psychological trauma of seeing their home
washed away by floods or their communities reduced to rubble by earthquakes.
Unless children receive the proper psychosocial support, they may remain
afraid and unable to move past the trauma of the disaster.
The hours and days immediately following a natural disaster
are the most important. Food sources can be destroyed, homes leveled and vital
medical centers demolished, leaving children and their families with few
places to turn. That's why ChildFund's Emergency
Action Fund is so important.
This fund allows us to assess
damage in the hours and early days after a disaster, providing immediate aid
to the victims of natural disasters wherever it is needed most. Whether
helping local partners equip refugee centers or supplying aid stations with
food and medical equipment, the Emergency Action Fund is vital to ensuring
that children in need and their families receive the support to cope in the
aftermath of these traumatic events. We'll remain in the affected region to
provide psychosocial services to children, as well as setting up safe spaces
for them to discuss their feelings.
To help ChildFund make a
difference after natural disasters, please consider making a donation to our
Emergency Action Fund. Your support and generosity will help save children's