Working around the globe to assist displaced families
In early September, Hurricane Irma caused devastation in the Caribbean. Less than two weeks later Hurricane Maria made landfall, bringing with it a new wave of destruction.
Our teams in the Caribbean are working with several humanitarian organizations on the complex task of evaluating need and delivering emergency shelter to the families that desperately need it. We are currently coordinating the provision of aid across six countries, including Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, the Dominican Republic, Dominica and the British Virgin Islands.
We have a variety of aid in the Caribbean, so we can tailor our response to best support different communities. On some islands, there will be the natural resources available to quickly rebuild homes with the help of a ShelterKit. Elsewhere, our tents will be the best option – creating a warm, safe home while the long clean-up process takes place.
Flooding + Rohingya Crisis
Since the Monsoon season started in June, Bangladesh has been severely hit by constant rain, at its worst, more than a third of the land was submerged.
More than 100,000 households are completely destroyed, and 600,000 are partially damaged. This destruction has forced eight million people from their homes, while the same extreme weather phenomenon has affected large swathes of India, Nepal and Myanmar too.
Our team in Bangladesh is also working to understand more about the needs of the Rohingya people, 480,000 of whom have been forced across the border into Bangladesh over the past month. Families are extremely vulnerable, having experienced severe trauma and are entirely reliant on the humanitarian community for basic necessities such as food, water, shelter and protection. A majority of the displaced are currently living in makeshift shelters of bamboo and thin plastic sheets, leaving them exposed to the elements.
Our team on the ground is liaising with other humanitarian organisations and Rotary Clubs, to determine the best way ShelterBox can help.
The conflict in Syria has now entered its seventh year. What started out as a peaceful protest in 2011 has since become the longest-lasting civil war on the planet.
The internationally backed power struggle between government forces and a disparate mix of opposition groups, including Islamic State, continues.
We’re working with our partners, Hand in Hand for Syria and ReliefAid, to help those affected. Since December 2015, we have helped more than 68,000 people with ReliefAid, including 47,000 children and 34,000 women and girls. This year alone, we’ve already provided shelter and essential aid to more than 8,000 families in the country.
The current focus is to provide shelter and aid ahead of colder and stormier weather conditions, and to meet needs throughout the severe winter in this region. Over the years we have provided a range of shelter aid as well as warm clothing for children and practical items such as kerosene heaters.
The Syrian Refugee Crisis fund helps all those affected by this crisis.
Read more about our ongoing response to the Syria Refugee Crisis
On July 10th, 2017 the Iraqi government declared that Mosul had finally been liberated after three years of Islamic State control. However, the humanitarian situation is still dire in Iraq and the need for ShelterBox aid is as prevalent as ever.
People are slowly returning to Mosul, but there is still a huge need for aid in and around the city, and a massive displacement of civilians throughout the whole country. Displaced families have struggled in the severe heat over the summer months, now they have to prepare for a long winter.
With the help of its partners working in Iraq, since 2016 ShelterBox has provided essential aid to 40,000 people.
In August 2017 alone, ShelterBox supported 394 households, this included 247 sealing-off kits and 41 mobile essential aid kits. These kits included blankets, mattresses and solar lights.
Severe drought in Somaliland has affected an estimated 766,000 here since November 2016. This is a community of nomadic cattle farmers, and the drought has killed livestock, and brought families into urban areas in the search for water.
We are working closely with ActionAid to ensure that families have safe shelter throughout Somaliland, supporting around 500 families with ShelterKits, including tarpaulins and kitchen sets. A team has recently returned after meeting families to see how their lives have started to improve since receiving ShelterBox support. A second phase of aid distributions is currently underway.
The water filters are proving essential in combating disease, as dwindling water sources are becoming contaminated and some parts of Somaliland are in the grip of a cholera epidemic.
LAKE CHAD BASIN CRISIS
Since 2009, Boko Haram has been waging an insurgency in Northern Nigeria. The violence has since spread to the neighboring regions of Niger, Chad and Cameroon, affecting around 30 million people. Recent drought has created food insecurity and added another layer of need onto the existing crisis.
Cameroon – Our teams are distributing tents, hygiene kits and other life-saving aid to the most vulnerable in Cameroon, where rainy season has now begun. We are also sending out a shipment of SchoolBoxes to help restore children’s futures. Our partner, IEDA Relief, have alerted us to an outbreak of malaria in Minawo refugee camp, so we are in the process of procuring mosquito nets to respond to this need.
We are also preparing to distribute 2,000 hygiene kits to women and girls in the region of Logone-et-Chari.
Chad – We are partnering with the local aid agency ICAHD to support vulnerable families in Chad.
456 shelters have been constructed and 500 kits of vital aid have been distributed to affected families.
We will be adding doors to these shelters, to help lengthen the life of the shelter and to provide extra privacy for families. ShelterBox is now working with ICAHD on the second phase of distributions.
Niger – Recent Boko Haram attacks in the Kablewa camp has led to massive population displacement in Niger. The camp, that hosted 16,000 people, has now been disbanded.
ShelterBox is working with Plan International to provide emergency aid to those displaced. The project will be split into two phases, supporting 896 families with tarpaulins and other essential aid items. Aid arrived in the country in August and phase one of distributions to a further 448 families is expected to start in the coming weeks.