This year, UNDAC is commemorating its 25th year anniversary with the launch of a global campaign called “Ready to go”. As part of the campaign, for each month of 2018, a different UNDAC mission and different UNDAC members are being celebrated for their unique contributions over the 25 years of UNDAC. The UNDAC missions currently being showcased on their anniversary months are:
– January: The Haiti Earthquake in 2010 heavily affected the country with a 7.2 magnitude earthquake killing over 220,000 people. 13 UNDAC members, including Jesper Holmer Lund, were deployed to Haiti and arrived within 48 hours of the earthquake to assist the government while it was grappling with the disaster and shock created by this large-scale sudden disaster.
– February: Cyclone Winston in Fiji , on 20 February 2016, was the most powerful tropical cyclone to ever hit Fiji. 13 UNDAC members deployed to Fiji to give strong support to the government, civil military coordination and strategic planning on high quality data. UNDAC member and team leader Sebastian Rhodes Stampa recounts how severe the destruction in Fiji was and the resilience of the government in its response through the national disaster management team.
– March: In March 2017, Peru experienced ten times the amount of rain it would usually have during the rainy season. This caused landslides and floods for three months displacing nearly 300,000 people. Fernando Hesse, Martin Miguel Torres and Jose Luis German were among the UNDAC members deployed to Peru to support the government in the coordination of the humanitarian response.
– April: On 25 April 2018, Nepal had a major 7.8 magnitude earthquake and more than 300 aftershocks which affected 8 million people and killed more than 8,880 people. UNDAC members Marcus Elten and Markus Werne were on the ground providing timely assessment analysis and supporting the coordination of the multitude of incoming humanitarian organizations coming in the country.
– May: On 2 may 2008, Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Myanmar and caused the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of the country. UNDAC member Jemilah Mahmood discusses on her experience in Myanmar and the importance of sometimes taking a step back as a leader and letting the local organizations take the lead.
– June: On this month, the focus was on what it is like to be in the UNDAC family of international first emergency responders. For Agnes Palacio and Nini Talai, UNDAC member from the Philippines and Papua New Guinea respectively, the best part is to know you are contributing for the greater good which comes with a sense of responsibility and accountability.
– July: Whether in a UNDAC team or other response teams, the Go-Bag is very important for a member of an emergency response team. Through interviews, some UNDAC members have shared some essential items in their Go-Bags they cannot leave home without.
Currently, we are working on an exhibition on the UNDAC 25 years anniversary that will take place during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. For more details on the UNDAC 25 year commemoration campaign, please visit the website: http://readytogo.undac.org/.