As the COVID-19 virus infections grew to pandemic levels in early 2020 this affected Disaster Aid Australia ability to respond to disasters.
The pandemic repidly became a disaster with developing countries being particularly badly affected.
Disaster Aid Australia decided to ‘pivot’ by supporting trusted partners responding to COVID-19 related issues with grants.
This followed the ‘Smart Aid’ principles of finding out what the local people want and then helping the deliver.
Our reponses have included:
Mindano Food Support
Working with our partner Balay Mindanaw we purchased 80 sacks of rice worth P176,000 ( P2200 / sack) to help 800 families.
This was prioritized for the Front Liners and Volunteers from:
- Cotabato City
- Cagayan de Oro City
- Marawi City.
Our partner Disaster Aid Canada has been supporting Mayan Women’s Groups in San Lucas Toliman and San Antonio Palopo, Guatemala for many years.
As a result of COVID-19 pandemic there is currently massive unemployment and no money to buy food.
In response Disaster Aid Canada has been providing food aid.
$5,000 has been sent from DAA, via DA Canada, to buy food for the worst affected families.
Disaster Aid UK and Ireland also provided $3,500 for the program.
Bulk purchasing and distribution of food is handled by four Mayan volunteer women.
Isolation Unit in Cagayan de Oro
Our partners the Balay Mindanaw Foundation converted their Disaster Response HQ (the DREAM Hub) into an Isolation Unit for Cagayan de Oro City.
This uses tents as separate isolation rooms.
A Disaster Aid Australia GEM SkyHydrant is used to protect the heath of volunteers and patients by supplying safe drinking water
Isolation of those returning has been a huge issue in the Philippines as many work overseas, and on cruise ships.
Helping Rotary Club of Kathmandu
The Rotary Club of Kathmandu have taken an important role is responding to COVID -19 in Nepal.
- Supplied food to disadvantaged people, students and others at high risk due lock down conditions.
- Provided personal protective equipment (PPE) to health facilities in support of the Ministry of Health.
- Increased awareness of the risk through public service announcements, brochures and social media.
- Provided pedal operated hand washing stations.
Disaster Aid Australia helped with a grant of $5,000.
Dhaka Childrens Hospital
The Rotary Club of Dhaka Royal identified the Dhaka Children’s Hospital as needing support.
Disaster Aid Australia combined with Disaster Aid UK & Ireland to purchase a Baby Bubble CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine for the hospital.
This machine is critical for treating babies affected by COVID-19, and when the pandemic subsides, will have a continuing use for babies with breathing difficulties.
Sabah which is on the Northern Tip of the Island of Borneo is one of the poorest regions of Malaysia.
Disaster Aid Malaysia started an appeal with Rotary Districts 3300 and 3310 District for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and a food bank for poorer residents.
Disaster Aid Australia supported the appeal with a grant of $,5000
The DAM team can be seen packing the PPE .
This was flown to Sabah by the Royal Malaysian Air Force, and delivered to hospitals in the region by local Rotarians.
Cambodian Food Aid
As part of Disaster Aid Australia’s commitment to continue delivering aid through the pandemic we made a grant supporting a project introduced to us by the Rotary Club of Frankston Peninsula 2.0.
This is the ‘Hotels Joining Hands‘ project where three hotels in Siem Reap have joined forces to provide 400+ meals a day to those people most affected.
They have now distributed over 53,000 meals to people in the Siem Riep area.
Helping the Leprosy Mission In Nepal
Disaster Aid Australia’s SmartAid Grant to the Anandaban Leprosy Hosital, in Nepal is being put to good use.
With the hospital having to pivot to becoming involved with the national COVID-19 response activities protecting the staff and patients has been vital.
Our support has enabled the hospital to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitiser.
Oxygen Concentrators for Bangladesh
The photograph shows the handover of two oxygen concentrators delivered in conjunction with our partner the Rotary Club of Dhaka Royal, Bangladesh.
One unit was paid from DAA funds while the other was a personal donation by DAA Board member Angeline Low and her husband Danny.
The units will initially be used at the Khidmah Hospital for the treatment of COVID patients. but will have a post pandemic use for many patients with breathing difficulties.
Working With Disaster Aid India
Disaster Aid has a long standing relationship with the Rotary Club of Navi Mumbai founders of Disaster Aid India, and the Diganta Swaraj Foundation through a Safe Water for Every Child project.
The Diganta Swaraj Foundation and the Rotary Club have been involved in assisting the medical facilities in the districts of Mokhada, Jawhar and Vikramgad in the Palghar region.
Disaster Aid Australia provided a grant to the Diganta Swaraj Foundation to help them purchase vital supplies.
Bangladesh Food Aid
Disaster Aid Australia supported local food programs In conjunction with:
- The Rotary Club of Dhaka Royal
- The Rotary Club of Agrabad