Responding to Emergencies: A duty towards the victims
Whatever the nature of a crisis affecting a population – natural disaster, political crisis, armed conflict, etc.– ACTED intervenes with those who have been brutally deprived of their basic means of existence in order to provide them with initial assistance as quickly as possible. Our emergency response aims to satisfy emergency needs: eating and drinking, shelter and clothing. Simultaneously taking into account the material needs that are essential for survival is at the heart of our emergency response programs.
During a serious crisis, access to food is a priority basic need. To address this need, ACTED implements food distributions which respect the standards set by the World Food Programme (WFP), namely the provision of at least 2,100 calories per person per day. The rations distributed generally include cereals and legumes, oil, sugar, salt and enriched flour.
The method of distribution of food aid can vary depending on the context. Thus, ACTED proceeds with monthly distributions in refugee camps by privileging a family-by-family approach allowing for a better monitoring of the needs and usage of food products. In other situations, ACTED can carry out daily distributions in the form of a hot meal, for example in schools. In cases of severe malnutrition, ACTED implements therapeutic or complementary nutrition programs in order to support the most vulnerable community members, often children and their mothers.
In all cases, our priority is to assist the most vulnerable community members – the elderly, sick, and single women, etc. – in order to provide them with direct and immediate access to basic nourishment.
Immediate access to drinking water
Like food, access to drinking water constitutes a fundamental need that is often seriously jeopardized during a crisis. According to international standards, each individual should have access to 15 litres of clean water per day in order to satisfy their basic needs.
Thus, in emergency situations, using truck convoys ACTED transports drinking water to isolated areas that suffer from serious water shortages. In certain regions, emergency wells are dug to address important needs, notably in periphery areas of refugee or IDP camps. Drinking water is a vital resource and ACTED aims to guarantee its immediate access during water shortage situations.
Crisis-affected communities are also confronted with the loss of all their material goods, particularly those of primary importance such as clothing, soap, combustibles (wood, coal, etc.), cooking utensils and water buckets. In addition, they must often cope with the destruction of their habitat, a loss which increases their vulnerability.
Our aid programs aim to satisfy material needs through the distribution of basic equipment and utensils as well as the installation of temporary shelters. For example, when winter weather conditions are difficult, ACTED’s distributions include cooking and heating ovens, and blankets and tents which are adapted to the extreme cold.
In this context, the objective of our interventions is to satisfy primary needs, both material and food-related.