We at TPF definitely know there is a lot about the United Nations to celebrate. That is, because yesterday, TPF hosted a Twitter chat on the one-year anniversary from Van. For the past year, we’ve been working with terrific organizations such as Anne Cocuk Egitim Vakfi, Arama Kurtarma Dernegi, Hisar Anadolu Destek Dernegi and Cagdas Yasam Destekleme Dernegi on recovery and rebuilding projects. We wanted to highlight all of the important work that we’ve done. We wanted to show you how we were working towards sustainable solutions by creating a conversation about disaster preparedness and long-term recovery. The truth is, disasters don’t disappear when the rescue teams go home. There is a lot that must be done to get places
like Van back on its feet. We still see how Japan is recovering from the tsunami and Haiti from its devastating earthquake in 2010.
TPF approached UNOCHA (The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) to participate in our Twitter Chat. They did so with gusto. And they brought UNDP (UN Development Programme) along. Both agencies, who work on immediate and long term recovery as well as disaster preparedness, took time and putthought into the project. Here is what we learned:
- Act Now: Did you know that in the last decade, almost one million people have been killed by disasters and more than one trillion dollars have been lost? Yet only 1% of international aid is spent to minimize the impact of these disasters. UNDP is working on increasing this number and getting governments around the world to think about disaster before it strikes.
- Coordination: Everyone wants to help in a disaster. But when everyone jumps in things can be as confusing as the disaster itself. UNOCHA works to coordinate humanitarian actors so that the right people can respond to the right crisis.
- Government policies help in recovery. Indonesia, Ecuador & Bolivia are great examples of countries that now have systems & policies in place for recovery efforts.
- Recovery should be used as an opportunity to address development problems that increase disaster risks.
And that was only after an hour. As we continue to support projects that can help Van, we are grateful to learn about the work that the United Nations does. It matters – and has mattered in Van.
Happy UN Day!