January 17, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: NGO's: Tsunami: Direct Relief International : Update to work done by Direct Relief International on Janaury 17, 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 17, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: NGO's: Tsunami: Direct Relief International : Update to work done by Direct Relief International on Janaury 17, 2005

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-13-244.balt.east.verizon.net - on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 5:19 pm: Edit Post

Update to work done by Direct Relief International on Janaury 17, 2005

Update to work done by Direct Relief International on Janaury 17, 2005

Update to work done by Direct Relief International on Janaury 17, 2005


Vice President of Program Chris Brady is in Indonesia, and Program Officer Kelly Darnell has just returned home from Sri Lanka. They will provide more extensive reports this week on their specific findings, plans, and observations.

Coordination among Groups: CEO Thomas Tighe last week convened an emergency conference call of the other CEOs/executive directors of U.S.-based nonprofit organizations that are members of the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (www.pqmd.org). The purpose of the call was to ensure optimal efficiency and geographic coverage in responding to the tremendous health needs in the region.

With many private groups responding to the crisis and the absence of one central coordinating entity, the potential exists for duplication of effort or over-concentration of support in a particular region, leaving other areas unaddressed.

Tighe offered that Direct Relief program staff, medical director, and chief pharmacist would share information about Direct Relief’s activities and plans with all other PQMD members, each of which provides medical resources as at least part of its program activities.

Respecting that each of these private, nonprofit organizations has its own mission, philosophy, practices, contacts, and discretion, Direct Relief believes that the overall assistance effort for people in the tsunami-affected regions will be best served by self-directed information sharing and coordination among organizations responding to the emergency.

Because of the high degree of public attention to the medical needs that exist and are anticipated in the tsunami-affected areas, PQMD issued an advisory regarding pharmaceutical donations to the region as a public service. (To read the advisory, click here.) In previous emergencies, some well-intentioned donations of medical products have been inappropriate for the circumstances. PQMD endorses the guidelines established by the World Health Organization.

Direct Relief’s Director of Philanthropic Investment, Anthoula Randopoulos, is the current chair of PQMD.

Three-week Update: Direct Relief’s response in the three weeks following the tsunami has been the completion of 13 separate shipments to India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.

These shipments have contained over 57,000 lbs. (27.5 tons) of medicines, supplies, instruments, and equipment – each item specifically requested for use by trained medical professionals working in tsunami-affected areas.

The wholesale value of these materials is $5,912,172.

Direct Relief has received $6.2 million in financial contributions specifically designated for the tsunami relief effort.

As of today, Direct Relief has developed plans to spend approximately $1.324 million in cash from designated funds for the following items:

* Airfreight transportation – $55,000 has been spent to pay for emergency airfreight shipments of medicines and supplies. Additional ground (inbound to Direct Relief) and air freight transportation (outbound to Asia) has been donated by FedEx.

* Purchase of Medicines/Equipment/Supplies – $415,207 has been spent or is planned to be spent to buy medicines, supplies, and equipment. Of this amount, $150,207 has already been spent, and another $265,000 is planned to be spent.

Donations from pharmaceutical companies, which have been enormously supportive of Direct Relief’s efforts to date, may obviate the need to spend the $265,000. If this occurs, the funds will be redirected to other priority areas.
* Purchase of Mobile Medical Units/Ambulances – $714,000 has been allocated to procure emergency medical vehicles to enable medical professionals in Sri Lanka and Indonesia to provide emergency medical transport and services.

In Sri Lanka, these vehicles will be used by the medical staff of International Medical Corps and VeAhavta who are working in Eastern Province.

In Indonesia, the vehicles will be used by IMC Indonesian and volunteer U.S medical staff who are providing surgical and emergency room services, including both general practitioners and public health specialists. These funds will also pay for two chartered boats to provide medical services in remote areas inaccessible by 4WD vehicle on Sumatra’s coast.
* Purchase of Emergency Nutritional Supplements – $20,000 was spent to procure high protein nutritional products in India for internally displaced persons from the coastal regions.

The above figures do not include other incidental costs directly related to the response that have been incurred. For example, the travel expenses of Brady and Darnell will be charged to tsunami-designated funds, but their salaries during the period of their travel will not. Those costs existed before the disaster and are part of Direct Relief’s core programmatic expenses.

Please note that these figures are unaudited – the intent is to share what Direct Relief’s activities, plans, and costs are associated with the response.

Back to top


Indonesia: Direct Relief staff has completed packing a 28-pallet shipment destined for Indonesia. The list of items was prepared by physicians and medical staff in Indonesia working for the International Medical Corps (www.imcworldwide.org) and approved by Indonesian authorities for importation.

The shipment contains, among other items: antibiotics (amoxicillin, Levaquin, Lorabid, Floxin, Augmentin, and doxycycline), vitamins, analgesics, casting material, IV solution, surgical instruments, bandages, tape, gauze, gloves, an autoclave, stethoscopes, and blood pressure units.

This shipment of 16,000 lbs (eight tons) will be transported via commercial air cargo on China Airlines. Transportation costs will be paid from designated tsunami funds. Designated funds were also used to purchase certain requested items not in Direct Relief’s current inventory. The wholesale value of the materials included in this shipment is $1.136 million.

IMC staff reported that mobile medical clinics were needed to deliver services to displaced persons in Aceh who were reluctant to stay in camps where services can be concentrated. The reluctance was reportedly due to concerns about retaining possession of the land on which their homes stood before being destroyed by the tsunami.

Direct Relief also has approved purchase with tsunami-designated funds of two mobile medical units for use in Aceh.

Sri Lanka: Direct Relief Vice President of Programs Chris Brady and Program Officer Kelly Darnell reported from Galle, Sri Lanka, where they are travelling with Dr. Ariyaratne, executive director of Sarvodaya.

Darnell reported that the degree of devastation was indescribable. Galle is the fourth-largest city in Sri Lanka and suffered severe damage from the tsunami. Darnell and Brady visited a camp where displaced persons were being housed and saw one of the mass graves in which victims were buried.

Brady and Darnell also met with the Galle Medical Association, Sri Lankan physicians who work at the the Galle Teaching Hospital and treated many of the trauma victims injured in the tsunami. The doctors described the types of injuries suffered and commented that many who survived the first wave, but suffered serious injury were then killed by the second wave one hour later because they were unable to move themselves to safety.

Darnell and Brady also stated that, as was reported from Indonesia, families in camps wish to leave as soon as possible and reclaim their land and spend daylight hours on their property, collecting and organizing rubble in anticipation of rebuilding.

Direct Relief authorized the purchase with tsunami-designated funds of two ambulances for the Order of St. John Ambulance Brigade to improve service to the coastal regions.

On Saturday, January 15, it is expected that the Government of Sri Lanka will release its initial report on its assessment of the tsunami damage and initial reconstruction and development plan.

Back to top


Sri Lanka: Vice President of Programs Chris Brady and Program Officer Kelly Darnell reported from Sri Lanka.

They report that the Colombo airport has received a tremendous inflow of material aid, which is being offloaded with the help of U.S. Marines and being stored in two hangars. The Direct Relief-provided emergency medical items sent on a donated FedEx plane arrived securely.

As noted in earlier reports, Direct Relief's packing list, including quantities, were reviewed and pre-approved prior to shipment by Ministry officials.

Darnell reports that some donations arrived consigned to, but without the previous knowledge of, the Ministry of Health. This has created both a space and processing challenge. Ministry health personnel, including the Ministry pharmacists, have been assigned to the airport to assess and direct the extraordinary amount of product.

Brady and Darnell are meeting today with Ministry officials to assess immediate and near-term medical needs.

Yesterday, Brady and Darnell, both of whom served in the Peace Corps met with Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, executive director of Sarvodaya. Sarvodaya is a Sri Lankan NGO that conducts extensive community-based programs. It received Direct Relief's initial emergency shipment, which has been deployed, and the materials are in use.

Dr. Ariyaratne, who received his MPH from Johns Hopkins University, advised that Sarvodaya is directly managing 90 camps for internally displaced persons, more than 10 percent of the 850 such camps that have been established in the past two weeks.

Sarvodaya is trying to get these internally displaced people to move into communities as soon as possible and has established a cash-for-work program within the camps.

As a result of the infusion of financial and in-kind support that has arrived, Sarvodaya formed a special finance committee to oversee the manner in which the resources are allocated. Dr. Ariyaratne advised that they are being selective with regard to partnerships, given the challenges that exist.

Dr. Ariyaratne also briefed Brady and Darnell on particular sensitivities that exist with regard to the current situation in Sri Lanka. Brady and Darnell will travel with Dr. Ariyaratne tomorrow to visit Sarvodaya-run facilities for displaced persons.

Brady and Darnell also met with the Order of St. John's Ambulance Brigade, which requested assistance in obtaining additional both critically needed medical supplies and ambulances to serve the coastal areas. The Order of St. John provides first-aid training throughout Sri Lanka and is providing primary care in many of the camps. Direct Relief will assist the Ambulance Brigade with medical product and funds received for tsunami-relief efforts.

Brady and Darnell also met with Sri Lankan Rotary leaders. Rotary and other private sector members in Sri Lanka have been instrumental in the early response efforts to the tsunami.

Indonesia: Direct Relief has now received two comprehensive lists of medical material required in Aceh province, which reportedly has suffered the most extensive loss of life and damage among all tsunami-affected areas. Direct Relief medical and warehouse staff has begun packing these orders from current inventories. Staff has also solicited product donations for specifically requested medicnes and surgical instruments.

The medicinal items on the needs list include: diarrhea/gastrointestinal medicines such as Andicap, Oraline, and Dialet; first aid supplies such as antiseptics, sterile dressings, and bandages; antibiotics such as amoxillin, ampicillin, and salpenol; medicines to treat skin ailments such as salicyl powder, skin salve, fluocinonide ointment, and isondine ointment; and vitamins such as vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and vitamin B1.

Somalia: Program Officer Christienne Durbin received a report from the Hargeisa Hospital Group, an ongoing partner in Somalia, that they are treating 55 people injured from the tsunami from Puntland, the region in Somalia most affected by the natural disaster.

Dr. Abdillahi of the Hargeisa Hospital group visited the area and is putting together a needs list. They expressed an initial need for I.V solutions, needles, and surgical gloves, among other items.

Durbin is also continuing to follow-up with several other Somali organizations seeking assistance with providing medical aid to tsunami victims.

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

Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

January 15, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 15 2005 No: 375 January 15, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Bellamy finishing term - Veneman to head Unicef 15 Jan
230 RPCVs volunteer for Crisis Corps 14 Jan
Peace Corps Fund needs silent auction items 12 Jan
Matt Gould in one-man Peace Corps show in Hollywood 12 Jan
Taylor Hackford's "Ray" Nominated for Golden Globe 12 Jan
Ambassador Johnson shares memories of Thailand 11 Jan
Senator Dodd suggests PC return to Venezuela 11 Jan
Ambassador Hull wants PC to return to Sierra Leone 11 Jan
Poiriers unhappy with PC investigation of missing son 10 Jan
Emile Hons reflects on the Deborah Gardner murder case 10 Jan
Judge Paul A. Bastine criticized for stalling Divorce 6 Jan
Volunteer Patricia D. Scatoloni dies in Macedonia 4 Jan
more top stories...

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.
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
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."
RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
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.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Direct Relief International

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



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.