Friday, April 24, 2015

Giving Aid Amidst Cultural Differences After Disasters

In China, in May, 2008, over 200 aid workers repairing damaged roads after an earthquake, were buried in the mudslides that followed.

Added to this, is the fact that the supply of clean water is usually limited, in the days immediately following a serious earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster. This increases the possibility, of acquiring diarrhoeal illnesses, such as E. coli, entamoeba and Giardia.

Humanitarian workers may even face harm due to cultural differences. In Sudan, aid workers were attacked by police in January, while they were celebrating a day off, with dining, drinking and dancing. Sudanese officials say that aid workers and members of the U.N. staff, will be held accountable, for breaking Sudanese law.

Relief workers often return home, having endured the same mental trauma as a veteran of war. This happens because of the frequency with which they undertake difficult, dangerous tasks and neglect food, sleep and personal care, in the race to decrease fatalities.
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