Noel Clement - The Australian Red Cross: Emergency Relief provision for people affected by emergencies and disasters

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Information about Noel Clement - The Australian Red Cross: Emergency Relief provision for...

Published on March 4, 2014

Author: informaoz



Noel Clement, Head of Australian Services, The Australian Red Cross delivered this presentation at the 2014 National Emergency Relief Summit in Sydney/Australia. The two day conference assessed the current systems around service delivery and the challenges that arise around services dedicated to providing material and financial aid, employment, food, housing, addiction relief, transport help and domestic violence support. For more information about the event, please visit the conference website

National Emergency Relief Summit March 2014 Noel Clement Head of Australian Services

Overview 1. Context • 2. Relief & Recovery • • • 3. Red Cross in emergency management Disaster impacts/human needs National Principles for Disaster Recovery Emergency Appeals Lessons/challenges • • Overarching Appeals related

Red Cross response – the framework Red Cross role in Emergency Management • Auxiliary to government • Partnerships at all levels of government • Responsibilities under State/ Territory EM arrangements • Other Partnerships • Australian Psychological Society • Save the Children • Corporate support

Emergency Services Strategy 2010-2015 The aim: To mobilise the power of humanity to build resilience in communities before, during and after emergencies.

Red Cross Strategy - Outcomes Focus 1. Preparedness 2. Response 3. Recovery 4. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander communities

Where does Emergency Relief fit in? Relief & Recovery • Disaster impacts/human needs • National Principles for Disaster Recovery • Emergency Appeals

Disaster impacts • Disasters impacts upon, individuals, families, places, networks, businesses, livelihoods • People may lose a lifetime of memories, belongings, treasured pets, irreplaceable possessions and years of hard work • No two people experience the same disaster • The consequences are long, complex and disruptive

Scenario • What do I need? • Who can provide it? • Who’s in charge?

The challenges – individual and community Counseling/rebuilding/’getting over it’ • • • Public interest and perception Time to rebuild Counseling v. practical assistance/effort Practical matters • • • Decision making Housing/living arrangements Children’s schools Sustaining the effort in a continually changing environment • • • • Work Clearing/rebuilding Living arrangements (caravans/relocation?) Family stresses Managing role tensions, stress & fatigue • • • Balancing the community role with family and personal recovery Cumulative Stress Fatigue

Services – individual and community • Range of community recovery services • Information • Community and personal support • Emergency Relief/ Financial assistance • Mental health support • Community development and resources • Type, range and quantum of services dependent on impact of disaster and needs of individuals and communities

Disaster recovery in Australia • Supporting communities to work together during adversity • Recognising and contributing to individual and community resilience • Working with and empowering communities physical, environmental & economic elements, together with psychosocial wellbeing • Enhancing social and natural environments, infrastructure and economies

National principles for disaster recovery A joint approach to disaster recovery: • whole of government • whole of community A national collaboration owned and shared by many: • governments at all levels • not for profit sector • the many individuals working in emergency management and recovery A strong focus on community led recovery: • applicable to all aspects of recovery • promote self-reliance, shared responsibility and mutual obligation Developed and revised by the Disaster Recovery Sub Committee (DRSC) of the Community and Disability Services Ministers’ Advisory Council (CDSMAC)

National principles for disaster recovery Six key interrelated concepts: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Understanding the context Recognising the complexity Using community led approaches Ensuring coordination of all activities Employing effective communication Acknowledging and building capacity

Potential Emergency Relief measures State/Territory Governments • Emergency assistance • Temporary living • Household rebuild/repair Australian Government grants • Centrelink Disaster Relief payment Appeals • Not for profits • Community groups – new and existing Material aid/donated goods • Corporate • Individual generosity

Emergency Relief - Observations o Can be divisive if impact and community need are not well understood o Majority of recipients are typically not used to accessing financial assistance o Expectations of beneficiaries can be varied o Expectations of donors need to be carefully managed o Prescribed versus empowerment approaches Financial assistance • Often unnecessarily complex • Coordination challenges – duplication and gaps • Availability driven by intangibles such as media interest & public response Donated goods • Balancing people’s desire to give/help with need/dignity of those affected • Potential impact on local economic recovery (e.g. local stores)

Appeals - Black Saturday 2009 Red Cross launched the Victorian Bushfire Appeal in partnership with the Victorian and Australian governments on 8 February • • • • Close to 600,000 people donated to the Appeal 93% of the donations came from individuals 13 simultaneous call centres were in operation during collection process 350,000 calls received in one 3 hour period alone

Appeals - Black Saturday 2009 Background: • 173 people deceased • Hundreds of people injured • Thousands of homes and properties damaged or destroyed • Major impact on community infrastructure • Major economic impacts Exercise: How would you allocate the funds? • $401m (including interest)

Appeals - Black Saturday 2009 • Independent advisory panel made up of community leaders established to oversee the Appeal Fund’s operation • Administration undertaken through Victorian Government Department of Human Services (no costs taken from the fund) • $320m (80%) to individuals and families • $81m to communities • $225m on housing support • More than $240m (60%) distributed in the first 12 months • 46,000 payments made to date

Appeals - Black Saturday 2009 Initial emergency payments included: • • • • • • • Compassion and Bereavement Payment Initial Home Dislocation Payment Severe Injury Payment Household Repairs Payment Tools of Trade Payment Exceptional Hardship Support Payment Rebuilding and recovery payments

Appeals - Black Saturday 2009 Subsequent Rebuilding and recovery payments included: • • • • • Destroyed Homes Payment Damaged Homes Payment Tenant Contents Payment Rural Properties Recovery Payment Severe Injury Transition to Home Payment

Appeals – Examples of Principles • • • • • • Ensure input from the affected community Distribution should be accessible, equitable and timely Guidelines should be well-publicised and accessible Individual and community recovery should be supported All money collected should be disbursed Separate appeals should be coordinated or, if possible, combined • Consideration should be given to other forms of financial assistance available (capacity to recover) • Appeal funds should be used for grants, not loans • Assistance should not act as a disincentive to insurance

Lessons & Challenges

Lessons & challenges Overarching: • Importance of a cohesive, integrated response coordinating diversity of effort to maximise outcomes • Prompt Response/Proactivity versus sensitivity to community and individual circumstances • When is an appeal appropriate? • Impact of an appeal on wider organisation’s work • Diversity of impacts and impacted groups

Lessons & challenges Appeals: •The Appeal ‘wave’ – highs and lows •Tension between immediacy & ensuring full probity incremental release of funds • Building and maintaining trust in the appeal – independence of decision making versus organisation control •Critical importance of communication and transparency •Legislation/ taxation implications – “relief of distress” •Distribution costs and infrastructure •Role of the Media and Public scrutiny •Donor intent/ expectations of beneficiaries •Empowerment/dependency •Long term nature of recovery

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