December 30, 2004: Headlines: COS - Thailand: COS - Sri Lanka: NGO's Service: Tsunami: Direct Relief International: Direct Relief International headed by Thailand RPCV Thomas Tighe responds to Earthquake and Tsunami

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Thailand: Special Report: 2004 - Tsunami hits Southeast Asia: December 30, 2004: Headlines: COS - Thailand: COS - Sri Lanka: NGO's Service: Tsunami: Direct Relief International: Direct Relief International headed by Thailand RPCV Thomas Tighe responds to Earthquake and Tsunami
RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 3 2005 No: 362 RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps is making an appeal to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to India and Indonesia?
Peace Corps issues appeal to Thailand RPCVs Date: December 30 2004 No: 354 Peace Corps issues appeal to Thailand RPCVs
Peace Corps is currently assessing the situation in Thailand, anticipates a need for volunteers and is making an appeal to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps. Also read this message and this message from RPCVs in Thailand. All PCVs serving in Thailand are safe. Latest: Sri Lanka RPCVs, click here for info.

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Friday, December 31, 2004 - 11:12 am: Edit Post

Direct Relief International headed by Thailand RPCV Thomas Tighe responds to Earthquake and Tsunami

Direct Relief International headed by Thailand RPCV Thomas Tighe responds to Earthquake and Tsunami

Direct Relief International headed by Thailand RPCV Thomas Tighe responds to Earthquake and Tsunami

Response to Earthquake and Tsunami in South/Southeast Asia

Caption: General view of Ton Sai Bay in Thailand's Phi Phi island, December 28, 2004 after a tsunami hit the area. Nations bordering the Indian Ocean from Indonesia to Sri Lanka clawed through the wreckage of a quake-triggered tsunami for bodies to bury on Tuesday as fears grew the toll would exceed the 50,000 now reported killed. REUTERS/Luis Enrique Ascui


Direct Relief today completed packing two shipments that will depart tomorrow for Sri Lanka on commercial air cargo tomorrow, Friday, December 31, 2004.

The first shipment is directed to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health and contains items specifically requested for respiratory care and trauma. It contains 2 pallets of laryngeal airways of various sizes, 2 pallets of gloves to prevent spread of microorganisms, and 2 pallets of pulmonary suction catheters with accompanying connective tubing - all to be used for treatment of acute respiratory failure secondary to aspiration and infection.

The second shipment is destined for the Sri Lankan nongovernmental organization Sarvodaya, which has strong presence at the community level with 35 district coordinators and 360 divisional coordinators. The five-pallet-sized shipment to Savrvodaya includes the following items requested by Executive Director Dr. Ariyante:

114,000 doses of acetaminophen, 12,000 doses of oral rehydration solution, and 432 1 liter bags of IV normal saline solution for dehydration. Also included are 288 rolls of Elasticon tape, moleskin bandages, and 20,000 Mirasorb 4x4 gauze pads to treat traumatic injuries. 299 first aid kits, several thousand sanitary pads and respirator masks and various wound dressings also were included.based on Dr. Ariyante’s request.

These two shipments are aimed at both hospitals, a principal focus of the Ministry, and clinics in rural areas, in which Sarvodaya conducts its work.

Sarvodaya is deeply experienced responding to natural disasters in Sri Lanka. Sarvodaya Executive Director Dr. Ariyaratne has established two disaster relief centers in the Colombo area (Nagarodaya and Moratuwa) to link with its 10 field offices, which provide around-the-clock reports on incidents and immediate needs in their respective communities.

Sarvodaya also can draw on and mobilize over 100,000 volunteers from Shanti Shena, the “peace brigade.” Shanti Shena has trained young people between 18 to 30 years of age to deliver first aid to villages.

New York based American Jewish World Service, with which Direct Relief has worked for several years on a variety of health and disaster-response activities, sponsored the air-freight shipment to Sarvodaya. Designated funds that have been received for the tsunami response will be used for the shipment to the Ministry of Health.

Direct Relief also received a generous donation for emergency disinfection of drinking water and consulted with Colorado-based Water for People,, which specializes in water and sanitation projects in developing countries.

Arrangements have been firmed up with FedEx to pick up an extensive airlift shipment to depart Monday, January 3. This shipment will contain several tons of medicines that have been requested to treat bacterial and fungal infections and other current and anticipated illnesses.

A Direct Relief program staff member will be travelling to Sri Lanka to assist with the receipt and distribution of these shipments and others for which plans are being developed based on situational requirements.


As noted in yesterday’s update, Direct Relief’s initial assistance departed today for India and Sri Lanka.

An additional 5 Bristol-Myers Squibb-furnished medical boxes, each valued at over $20,000 were provided to ER physicians travelling tomorrow to Sri Lanka to join with Sri Lankan physicians providing emergency care in disaster-affected areas. The team of Los Angeles doctors is led by Dr. Larry Stock. Click here to see the contents of each box. Direct Relief also provided the team with additional first-aid and surgical supplies that will be hand-carried on their mission.

Based on a needs list developed by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health, Direct Relief is preparing an emergency air shipment that will depart Friday, December 31. This shipment will contain respiratory equipment, including endotracheal tubes, airways, and suction catheters that are needed to treat near drowning, saltwater aspiration, and blunt chest trauma. These items and supplies to treat acute traumatic injuries – sutures, casting materials, bandages, splints, disinfectants – are needed in this early response phase. The Sri Lankan Consulate General and Commercial First Secretary have been extremely helpful facilitating communications with Ministry of Health officials.

A larger airlift to Sri Lanka, which is anticipated to depart next week, also is based on the list of specifically requested items. This shipment is aimed at intermediate requirements and will include extensive pharmaceutical products to treat bacterial and fungal infections and gastrointestinal, respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. Direct Relief is coordinating this shipment, which will be airlifted by FedEx without charge, with other US-based nonprofits that are members of the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations ( Direct Relief and other PQMD members also have been asked for assistance by the Embassy of the Maldives.

Direct Relief is soliciting additional donor support for the following critically needed products: water purification tablets, oral rehydration salts, and antibiotics. Items not provided through in-kind donations will be purchased using funds that are donated for tsunami relief efforts.

With regard to Indonesia, which has suffered significant loss of life and injuries, Direct Relief has consulted with US Government officials in Jakarta and has communicated to the Indonesian Embassy in the United States offering our assistance. Today, Direct Relief agreed to partner with Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization International Medical Corps, which specializes in clinical services and management and has an extensive Indonesia-based health program. Direct Relief’s material-assistance specialization complements IMC’s human resource specialty, and the two organizations have successfully teamed up on prior occasions.

Direct Relief has experienced an unprecedented number of telephone calls and website visits from persons, organizations, and companies wishing to assist in the relief effort. Volunteers – including members of Direct Relief's Board of Directors – have been answering phone calls, but the volume of calls has exceeded our available lines. We apologize for any difficulties in reaching our office. Tomorrow we will establish a toll-free 800 line, which has been donated free of charge to Direct Relief.

Because of the size and complexity of this tragedy, coordination among all public and private relief efforts is critically important. Direct Relief will coordinate to the maximum extent possible with all other efforts to ensure that activities are not duplicative and that money and other resources are spent most efficiently to assist people whose lives have been tragically affected.

We also ask that people who wish to contribute specifically for the tsunami relief efforts to make this intention clear. Please write “tsunami relief” on a check or in the comments field on our online donation page. This designation restricts the funds so they will be used only for activities related to this emergency effort.


Direct Relief International has prepared two initial emergency shipments to victims of the Southeast Asian earthquake and tsunami. The shipments will depart tomorrow, Wednesday, December 29.

The first shipment will be hand carried by US emergency room physicians working with the Sri Lankan NGO VeAhavita. The shipment which has a wholesale value of $75,000, and contains three medical mission boxes provided by Bristol-Myers Squibb as well as additional pharmaceuticals, first aid and surgical supplies, and diagnostic equipment. The US physicians will join a team of Sri Lankan physicians and deploy to hospitals in the affected coastal region.

The second shipment will be sent by air cargo to Direct Relief’s long-term partner, the Good Samaritan Social Service Association (GSSSS) located in the Indian State of Tamil Nadu where the tsunamis caused significant damage and loss of life. The shipment, which weighs 3,700 lbs. and has a wholesale value of $600,000, includes pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics, antiparasitics, analgesics, respiratory agents, antiseptics, and oral rehydration salts, medical supplies such as wound dressings, bandages, sutures, surgical instruments, gloves, and masks, and blankets. These supplies have been requested by GSSS physicians serving some of the hardest-hit coastal communities.

Direct Relief and GSSSS are both registered under the terms of the U.S-India bilateral agreement concerning humanitarian aid, which permits duty-free importation of humanitarian medical aid. Direct Relief has been approved under this agreement for 25 years, during which Direct Relief has provided over $40 million in material aid to support charitable health services in dozens of locations.

Direct Relief has consulted with both the Indian and Sri Lankan Embassies in the United States with regard to planned relief activities in their respective countries. In addition, Direct Relief has received medical needs list from several other public and nongovernmental organizations operating in the affected areas.

Direct Relief is a member of the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations, which includes other U.S. nongovernmental organizations and healthcare companies. Anthoula Randopoulos, Direct Relief’s Director of Philanthropic Investment, is the Chairman of PQMD. Direct Relief is coordinating its response activities with other PQMD members and the American Jewish World Service to ensure private aid efforts are coordinated to the maximum extent possible.

Direct Relief will prepare additional assistance shipments as specific needs and logistics plans are firmed up. Assessments have identified significant risk of additional death and illness due to water-borne diseases across tsunami-affected areas.

The Center for International Disaster Information website contains excellent information on various issues related to disaster response, including advice on charitable donations and volunteering for relief service.


Direct Relief has been in contact with partner organizations in India and Sri Lanka, other private U.S. nonprofit organizations, US government officials coordinating official aid, and corporate partners.

In this complex emergency, Direct Relief’s focus is on medical needs, but shelter, food, water and sanitation also are critical for hundreds of thousands of persons in coastal areas.

FedEx today offered to transport material aid without charge to the region, and we are developing both material lists and logistics plans to transport the items.

In India, Direct Relief is joining with New York-based American Jewish World Service to assist Indian nongovernmental organizations in Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh – both of which suffered extensive damage in densely populated coastal areas.

In Sri Lanka, Direct Relief has received the first consolidated needs list for medical items, which are being prepared for shipment from current inventories.

Direct Relief has allocated two disaster modules, donated by Johnson and Johnson, for the relief effort.


Direct Relief has offered medical assistance to aid victims of the massive Southeast Asian earthquake. Initial reports indicate that the resulting tsunami and tidal surges have killed thousands and destroyed property throughout the coastal areas of Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, and the Maldives.

Direct Relief is coordinating with program partners in the affected countries and with U.S. government officials to develop a list of health and medical items that are needed.

Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Thai coastal town of Langu, approximately 120 miles south of the resort island of Phuket, where scores of deaths have been reported.

“As in any such natural disaster, the first priority is on search and rescue of victims,” said Tighe. “Direct Relief will provide medical material aid that is needed, but we recognize that shelter, food, water, and other basic needs also are essential, so we will work with the other response agencies to ensure that the response is properly targeted.”

Direct Relief provides medical assistance in response to emergencies and on an ongoing basis to underserved areas in developing countries. This year, Direct Relief has provided aid to Hurricane-affected areas in the Caribbean and to Bam, Iran, where a severe earthquake occurred exactly one year ago on December 26, 2003.

When this story was posted in December 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.

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Story Source: Direct Relief International

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Thailand; COS - Sri Lanka; NGO's Service; Tsunami



By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Sunday, January 02, 2005 - 4:13 pm: Edit Post

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