Friday, August 08, 2008

Life On Earth: In Shadow Of Beijing Party-Time & Georgian-Russian Warfare, International Red Cross/Crescent Appeals For Moldovan/Ukrainian Flood Aid

Ukraine and Moldova: emergency appeal launched to assist victims of worst floods in 200 years

August 6, 2008

"With more than 30 people killed, dozens missing, 30,000 displaced and damages reaching over one billion Euros, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is launching an emergency appeal to bring immediate assistance to victims of the worst floods in 200 years in Ukraine and Moldova.

The appeal for 1.2 million Swiss francs (€ 765,000 / US$ 1.2 million), will support operations by the Ukrainian and Moldova Red Cross Societies to bring emergency help to 60,000 particularly vulnerable people (in particular the elderly, and multi-child households) over the next eight months. Funds will be used to supply food, clean water, hygiene articles, household items, bedding, repair work on homes and psychological support.

“These are the worst floods in two centuries. The ground cannot absorb any more water, and more rains could trigger mudslides. People are in desperate straits, food is urgently needed as well as clean water. Many people have lost crops, gardens, livestock, poultry as well as their food reserves,” said Joe Lowry, Federation Representative for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, speaking from the disaster zone. “Moldova is still recovering from a succession of serious droughts, for which the Red Cross provided food aid. This is the worst possible irony for Europe's poorest country, where a quarter of the population has emigrated to find work and where many elderly survive on less than one Euro [$1.50] a day.”

In Western Ukraine, the six most affected regions are Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernvitsy, Zakarpattya, Lviv, Ternopil and Vinitsia, where some 40,000 houses in 655 settlements, more than 30,000 hectares of croplands and nearly 700 kilometres of roads have been severely damaged by flooding."

Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

A flood destroyed kitchen in Kosovanka, West Ukraine; performance art in Beijing, People's Republic of China; and monument to the victims of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict in Tskhinvali, South-Ossetian Autonomous Region, Georgia, Future European Union; if not necessarily future NATO. On August 8, 2008, it was reported in the Washington Post that the hospital in Tshkinvali had been destroyed by warfare, and the university was on fire.

West Ukraine, Moldova, the Crimean Autonomous Republic of Ukraine, Ossetia, and parts of the Republic of Georgia are among the poorest and most vulnerable parts of the New Europe. Incomes remain often substantially below $100 a month, according to the World Bank, Washington, D.C.

The southern tier of the Russian Federation, Future European Union, is presently benefiting from the Russian Federation's "Marshall Plan" for its multi-ethnic South, which is made possible by the Russian Federation's vast oil wealth and lack of hugely expensive overseas wars.

Photo credits: (c) Joe Lowry and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; Jonathan Newton and the Washington Post; and Wikipedia Commons. With thanks.



Scene from Kaija Saariaho and Amin Maalouf's new opera Adriana Mater at the Santa Fe Opera, 2008.

Photo credit: © Ken Howard. With thanks.


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