When aid comes to you – Logistics for global health and aid - A Humourless Lot

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When aid comes to you

by Michael Keizer on February 11, 2009

Watching The Smoke Billow, by Leon Rice-Whetton

Original artwork by Australian Leon Rice-Whetton, who made this drawing to honour the Country Fire Authority's (mostly volunteer) firefighters. Some rights reserved; see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/deed.en

I think most aid workers see aid as something that we do for others. However, sometimes things can get very close, even uncomfortably so. Fires are raging across much of Victoria, the Australian state in which I live. Hundreds of people have died, and thousands are homeless. An unprecedented aid campaign is under way, with fire-fighters, both military and civilian, being flown in from all over the country, and resources flowing in from all directions — including international aid organisations like OXFAM and Save The Children.

Compared to aid operation in a country like e.g. Sudan, all this is small stuff; but its impact on a country of only 20 million people that has never experienced anything like it, is staggering. The logistics of it is taking up a large slice of the country’s capacity, especially as this capacity is severely impacted by the fires themselves. Luckily, the aid operations seem to be going relatively smoothly.

I live in a relatively safe part of Melbourne myself, but like most Australians my thoughts are continuously with my friends who are not so lucky — and I am greatful for the aid that they receive.

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Michael (owner) February 12, 2009 at 8:33 am

More on some of the logistics of the aid effort at Eureka Street.


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