Thursday, November 14, 2013

Scale Up the Relief Pack

The standard DSWD relief pack is 5kg of rice, 6 noodles, 6 canned goods and 6 sachets of coffee. It differs a little bit in various situations, of course.

So a family representative queues up at the relief center, gets a pack and goes back to where his family of six is currently holed up, say a kilometer or two away but hopefully unexposed to the elements. After a day or so, his family runs out of food and queues up again at the center. It means that he is wasting his energy everyday as he keeps coming back, and likewise it does not help that the relief center is always congested with people in need.

Some scaling up may have to be done when we are packing our relief goods. Perhaps a pack that will last a week for a family of six. This will help in  managing the congesting effect of "return customers" of the center, and allow breathing space for those running it.

Every family that achieves some level of comfort in terms of having secured food for a week, will then find time to focus on reestablishing their foothold in this life. They can start clearing up their devastated houses, bury their dead, set up perimeters of safety, and even extend a helping hand to their old neighbours. But the nagging fear of whether the family will eat tomorrow will create a state of mind that simply awaits for daybreak to come so the father can walk 2 kilometers and queue up at the relief center again.

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