The 7.1 magnitude earthquake which struck eastern Turkey near the city of Van in October 2011 caused heavy damage to the city as well as the neighbouring parts of South Caucasus and Levant. At least 25 buildings collapsed and the condition worsened due to cold weather. According to Disasters and Emergency Situations Directorate of Turkey AFAD, the total number of casualties reached a total of 601 people and 1,452 more were injured. Approximately 60,000 people lost their homes and belongings.
MERCY Malaysia efforts
MERCY Malaysia sent an assessment team to Van, Turkey from 29 October until 10 November 2011 to determine the needs of the earthquake-hit community and plan for a response. Following the assessment, MERCY Malaysia distributed staple food which reached 990 beneficiaries.
MERCY Malaysia started its emergency medical response on April 29, 2015 in Sankhu, Kathmandu post Lamjung’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake that claimed the lives of nearly 9,000 people and injured at least 22,000 people. A psychosocial team was deployed along with the Emergency Response Unit to provide psychosocial support to the aected community. As mental health and psychosocial support is becoming more mainstream during emergencies, MERCY Malaysia continues to provide psychosocial support long after the earthquake. The training targets teachers and caregivers as the frontliners to receive psychosocial training in order to help build the community’s capacity in addressing the mental health and psychosocial concerns.
MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS/ ACTIVITIES
Psychological First Aid (PFA) training workshops were conducted from the month of May until July 2016 in Kathmandu city. The trainings were intended for the front liners such as teachers and caregivers in the city schools and orphanages. The objective of this project is to increase knowledge and raise awareness on the early signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The training was designed to provide a peersupported network to reduce psychological impact among the population aected by disaster. In addition, the programs were localized by incorporating Nepali culture to produce a self-help program for children both in theoretical and practical way. In total, 129 individuals participated in this training across 4 locations in Kathmandu city.
As the Syrian Crisis enters its fth year, Syrian refugees have increasingly voiced out the desperation of their plight. An estimated 12 million Syrians have øed their homes, of which 1.5 million have settled in Lebanon. However, the actual gures of refugees settled in neighbouring countries are estimated to be signicantly larger as majority of refugees do not register in formal camps. Throughout neighbouring countries such as Lebanon, thousands of refugees reside in unocial camps, severely lacking basic resources and services. The program aims to provide relief and sustainable healthcare assistance as well as increase the resiliency of the vulnerable groups particularly in Bekaa Valley. The Bekaa Valley hosts 360,733 registered Syrian refugees, where an estimated 58% of them are aged 17 years and below. MERCY Malaysia aims to improve the lives of those who feel that they are the “forgotten people” through improving their access to basic needs such as food, medicines and non-food items.
MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS/ ACTIVITIES
MERCY Malaysia has been providing assistance to Syrian refugees in several countries in the Middle East, including Syria since 2013. A range of assistance has been provided, ranging from medical services to distribution of non-food items. In 2016, MERCY Malaysia together with local implementing partners namely Humanitarian Relief for Development (ALGHAWTH) focused on providing a range of necessary resources and services to Syrian Refugees in 4 informal camps in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon for a period of 1 year. Throughout 2016, the assistance included the distribution of more than 24,000 units of medication supply, distribution of food parcels for 3,036 individuals for 3 months and distribution of Winter Kits for 506 families which consisted of blankets, mattresses and diesel to face the harsh winter months. In addition, MERCY Malaysia was able to establish and create a Child Friendly Space (CFS) in one of the refugee camps that served 80 children who were living there. The CFS programme is widely used by humanitarian organisations around the world as the rst response to children’s psychological deterioration in war zones or disaster areas. It also serves as an entry point for working with the a¬ected communities. In CFS, child-centered play therapy empowers children as they lead the play session with trained adults. A study by Columbia University and World Vision International has demonstrated that CFS helps in improving the overall well-being of the children who attend their sessions. Thus, the positive impact of CFS can be utilized to address the plight of Syrian children
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Pidie Jaya District, a province of Aceh in Sumatra Island, Indonesia on the early morning of 7th December 2016. 104 people died in the quake, with at least 1,000 people left injured. In addition, the quake caused major infrastructure damages, where at least 72 stores, 1 mall and 5 mosques were destroyed. Furthermore, 19,130 houses were reportedly damaged, 17,673 of it were in Pidie Jaya alone, causing more than 90,000 people to be evacuated from their homes.
MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS/ ACTIVITIES MERCY
Malaysia deployed its emergency response team to Pidie Jaya from 8th December to 20th December 2016. The objectives of the mission were to assess the immediate needs of the aected population and to device an action plan. Throughout the mission, the team distributed a total of 956 hygiene kits and family kits. A psychosocial team was deployed to conduct activities and provide psychosocial support benetting 250 children at the evacuation centre, while a rehab team provided 33 rehab patients with bedside exercise as well as 55 Rumah Sakit Umum Daerah (RSUD) Chik Ditiro’s sta with hands-on training.
From 29th August to 31st August 2016, heavy rains fell in North Hamgyong Province, DPRK. Within two days, more than 300mm of rain was reported, causing severe øoodingoftheTumenRiver anditsbranches in the region. The situation remained grave for weeks, aecting over 600,000 people acrosssix counties. By the endof September, a total of 138 deaths were reported, with a further 400 people reported missing, majority of which presumed dead. 7ast area of land remained submerged for weeks, leaving 70,000 internally displaced. In total, four counties were severely aected by øooding in North Hamgyong province, namely Musan, Yonsa, Kyonghun and Kyongwon County. The high altitude of the area caused temperatures to severely drop during winter months, placing people at risk to harsh winds and high levels of snowfall. The area is also mainly øood plains as there are several river banks and valleys.
MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS/ ACTIVITIES
Responding to a request by the Ministry of Foreign Aairs, DPRK, MERCY Malaysia sent its team to conduct further assessment on the damages as well as on future post-øood needs. After meeting with local authorities, the assessment team was advised to focus mainly on two counties, namely Musan and Yonsa. As part of the immediate relief eort, a donation of Tuberculosis (TB) medication consisting of isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide was provided, as raging øood waters had swept away the existing TB hospitals causing a shortage of the medication. Further future relief eorts are currently being developed by MERCY Malaysia.