It has been more than two weeks since the devastating earthquake in Christchurch and efforts have shifted from rescue to longer-term recovery. In the initial aftermath, Oxfam water and sanitation experts worked with Civil Defence to quickly get water supplies flowing at locations across Christchurch. This work has now been handed over to the Red Cross.
Oxfam generally responds to emergencies in developing countries, where infrastructure, resources and government capacity to help survivors is limited or non-existent. In comparison, the New Zealand Government has been well-equipped for this crisis. Consequently, the emergency equipment and supplies offered by Oxfam have not been required.
Oxfam has also offered the use of trauma counsellors. Currently, the Ministry of Social Development staff is well-trained to provide some psycho-social services, but not to address the collective grief and shock of an entire population. This is an area where Oxfam has expertise.
For people wishing to support those affected by the Christchurch earthquake, the best thing to do is to make a donation directly to the Red Cross.
Image courtesy of stuff.co.nz. All rights reserved by Red Cross AU