January 7, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: NGO's: Tsunami: Direct Relief International : Update to work done by Direct Relief International on Janaury 7, 2005

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 : January 3, 2005: Update to work done by Direct Relief International : January 7, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: NGO's: Tsunami: Direct Relief International : Update to work done by Direct Relief International on Janaury 7, 2005

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-43-253.balt.east.verizon.net - on Monday, January 10, 2005 - 1:09 pm: Edit Post

Update to work done by Direct Relief International on Janaury 7, 2005

Update to work done by Direct Relief International on Janaury 7, 2005

Update to work done by Direct Relief International on Janaury 7, 2005


Today, the 12-pallet shipment destined for India described in yesterday's update left Direct Relief's warehouse. It will be transported today on Thai Airways commercial air cargo, paid for by designated tsunami relief funds. Also today, a 17-box shipment bound for Indonesia was delivered to physicians from SurfAid International who are departing for the island of Nias, Indonesia off the Sumatran coast. SurfAid physicians and medical teams are staging relief efforts from Nias. With the completion of these two shipments, Direct Relief has completed eleven shipments to Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and India. The total value of these eleven shipments is $4.763 million.

India: Direct Relief today received a request for emergency assistance from Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences located in the State of Kerala. Amrita is providing medical services throughout the tsunami-affected region of the Kerala, including on Vypeen island. Over 30,000 citizens of Kerala have been relocated from coastal areas. Four thousand persons were evacuated from Vypeen island due to fears that the waters around the island, which is densely populated, would rise.

Direct Relief also received additional requests from two of the four regional hospitals that are receiving the shipment that left today. The hospitals requested ambulances to transport critically ill or injured patients from coastal villages to their facilities for care not possible on site by medical teams deployed to the area.

Direct Relief today approved the expenditure of an additional $20,000 in cash to be wired Monday to the Good Samaritan Social Service Society in Tamil Nadu and the coalition of four Indian nongovernmental organizations that have joined together to provide emergency services in coastal areas of Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh.

The expenditure of these funds will be overseen by Mr. Seshadri Iyer, Direct Relief's representative in Chenai. The funds will be used to cover costs associated with receipt, transport, and distribution of Direct Relief-furnished medical aid and other locally procured items.

Indonesia: Direct Relief pharmacist Cathleen Grabowski began preparing the packing list for the medical needs list submitted by an International Medical Corps surgeon on-site in Banda Aceh. The request includes an extensive array of medicines, surgical and lab supplies, and orthopedic products and instruments for use in the field hospital in Aceh. Among the items requested were amputation knives and saws and anesthesia.

Myanmar: Direct Relief Vice President of Programs Chris Brady, travelling in Sri Lanka, received a communication from a former colleague at Populations Services International working in Myanmar that damage in the country was not extensive.


Sri Lanka: Today Vice President of Programs Chris G. Brady and Program Officer Kelly Darnell departed for Sri Lanka. They will oversee the distribution of the FedEx-carried shipment of seven tons of medical material, which will arrive Saturday morning local time. Brady and Darnell also will plan near-term assistance efforts.

The FedEx plane also carries additional emergency medical supplies that were contributed by U.S.-based colleague organizations Heart-to-Heart and World Vision, both members of the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations.

Yesterday, Dr. Ananada Gunasekera, the director of Sri Lanka’s third largest teaching hospital in Kurunegala, met at Direct Relief’s warehouse with our medical and program staff. He will meet next week, along with senior health officials, with Chris Brady and Kelly Darnell. Dr. Gunasakera briefed the Direct Relief team on the pre-tsunami challenges to stock hospitals with drug supplies and on the public health systems processes.

India: Direct Relief warehouse staff today completed packing the next emergency shipment. It consists of 3.5 tons of materials on 12 pallets, with a wholesale value of $1.45 million. The materials are being sent to re-supply four regional hospitals in Tamil Nadu that have dispensed their staff, medicines, equipment, and supplies to the affected areas for immediate care.

The hospitals are:Ramakrishna Mission Hospital in Myiapre, Chennai; Meenskshi Mission Hospital in Madurai, Tamil Nadu; Hindu Mission Hospital in Tambaram, Chennai; and Sankara Arogya Medical Centre in Trauvarur district of Tamil Nadu.

Direct Relief’s practice is to provide materials that are specifically requested, and the broad range of specific medicines and supplies on this shipment reflect the level of detail involved to fulfill requests. To see the entire packing list of items, pallet by pallet, click here.

Materials included in the first shipment sent by Direct Relief to the Good Samaritan Social Service Society are being used now to care for patients displaced and injured or sick from the tsunami.

Indonesia: Warehouse staff also began packing another shipment for Indonesia to be hand-carried by physicians travelling to the region with SurfAid International. This shipment will contain 12 boxes of customized medicines and supplies that have been requested. SurfAid’s resident health teams in Indonesia are filing situation reports that you can read at www.surfaidinternational.org.

Also today, program officer Christienne Durbin received an extensive, detailed medical needs lists from Indonesia from the International Organization for Migration (www.iom.int). The list is approved by Indonesia for entry into the country, and we will begin working on fulfilling the list tomorrow. IOM was one of the few international organizations operating in every district of Banda Aceh before the earthquake and tsunami. Its office in Banda Aceh is serving as a hub serving UN and other agencies bringing in aid, including that carried by US Navy helicopters to the area.

Christienne is also coordinating with International Medical Corps (www.imcworldwide.org), which has an extensive Indonesia-based medical staff which is deploying to Banda Aceh. Direct Relief will work with IMC, which received funding to establish field hospitals, to equip their facilities.

Other Activities: Chief Medical Officer Bill Morton-Smith and Pharmacist Cathleen Grabowski have developed a projected-needs lists based on situation reports from on-the-ground partners and aggregated reports furnished by international organizations and the Center for Disease Control. This list will be used to request product donations from pharmaceutical companies or to purchase the items.


As of midnight January 3, Direct Relief has received $3.1 million in designated cash contributions and pledges for the tsunami relief efforts. These contributions for the tsunami relief are being restricted in a separate bank account and will be used only to cover expenses directly related to activities in the affected areas.

Direct Relief also has received medical product donations designated for the relief effort with a wholesale value of $33.7 million.

With the shipment that departed today, Direct Relief has furnished more than twenty tons of specifically requested medicines, supplies, equipment through seven separate shipments to India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. The wholesale value of materials included in these shipments is $3,085,857. These materials were drawn from current inventory, not from the product that has been donated specifically for this emergency, which will be provided in upcoming shipments.

Cash Expenditures of tsunami-designated funds. Using tsunami-designated funds received over the past several days, Direct Relief has spent $83,000 in cash for emergency response efforts.

$20,000 has been spent to buy urgently needed nutritional items in India for displaced people in Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh. $40,000 has been spent to buy pharmaceutical items and medical supplies noted in yesterday’s report. An additional $23,100 has been spent on commercial air cargo for four emergency shipments carried on Thai Airways to India and Sri Lanka.

Due to FedEx’s inkind contribution of free trucking and airfreight, the seven-ton air shipment that FedEx picked up yesterday and is carrying did not require the expenditure of Direct Relief funds. Had FedEx not stepped forward generously, this flight would have cost an additional $25,000 for trucking and air freight.

These are unaudited figures, but we believe it is important to note what Direct Relief is doing with the funds that have been received for this relief effort.

Because of the unprecedented level of giving, Direct Relief is assessing the advisability of establishing a cap for designated tsunami-relief contributions. The governing principle for this assessment is whether Direct Relief can assure that such funds can be spent productively, efficiently, and with adequate controls to ensure that all expenditures directly benefit the people for whose benefit the donations were entrusted to us. We do not believe that this limit has been reached, given the level of destruction, the current and anticipated health needs in the region, and the chronic health challenges that existed in many areas before the tsunami.

The full extent of this tragedy is not yet known. The emergency response remains in the acute phase, where immediate action is required to ensure the survival and health of people whom the tsunami left very vulnerable. Direct Relief is responding to every urgent request within the scope of our organizational expertise, by providing medicines, supplies, and equipment to persons in whom we have the highest confidence will use these materials appropriately. If necessary, we will spend money – as occurred yesterday – to buy basic nutritional provisions for people being served by our partner health organizations in the affected areas.

Direct Relief’s role and support will continue throughout this acute phase and the subsequent stages of reconstruction and development. Our aim in this emergency, as in our day-to-day efforts throughout the world, is to ensure not only that patients receive needed care, but that the local health systems are strengthened and the local health professionals are better equipped to serve their fellow citizens. Neither Direct Relief nor any U.S.- based or international aid organization has more of a stake in the success of this effort than the residents of these affected areas.

Tomorrow, warehouse staff and volunteers will assemble an extensive shipment of emergency medical supplies for regional hospitals in tsunami-affected regions of India, which we anticipate departing this week.

When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.

January 8, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 8 2005 No: 367 January 8, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Zambia RPCV Karla Berg interviews 1,374 people on Peace 7 Jan
Breaking Taboo, Mandela Says Son Died of AIDS 6 Jan
Dreadlocked PCV raises eyebrows in Africa 6 Jan
RPCV Jose Ravano directs CARE's efforts in Sri Lanka 6 Jan
Persuading Retiring Baby Boomers to Volunteer 6 Jan
Inventor of "Drown Proofing" retires 6 Jan
NPCA Membership approves Board Changes 5 Jan
Timothy Shriver announces "Rebuild Hope Fund" 5 Jan
More Water Bottles, Fewer Bullets 4 Jan
Poland RPCV Rebecca Parker runs Solterra Books 2 Jan
Peace Corps Fund plans event for September 30 Dec
RPCV Carmen Bailey recounts bout with cerebral malaria 28 Dec
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RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. 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 send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
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.
Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.
Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
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RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
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Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.

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Story Source: Direct Relief International

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



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