Thank you for helping us to support people in need!
Syria crisis: Millions of people struggling for survival
According to the United Nations, about 6.8 million Syrian people, including 4.2 million internally displaced people in Syria and 1.4 million refugees in neighbouring countries are affected by the civil war in Syria and in dire need of humanitarian aid. Recently, Malteser International scaled up its aid in the region to cover an additional 13,000 people, including new cross border relief operations in Turkey and northern Syria.
Distribution teams are bringing emergency food packages and baby food from Turkey into a rural, opposition-controlled region to the north of Aleppo/Syria. In Turkey, Malteser International is also supporting a school in the border district of Kilis, where 1,350 Syrian children currently attend classes. We are paying an allowance to teachers, subsidizing running costs, and supplying school materials. In addition, the children receive a healthy snack three times a week. "Children learn better when their stomaches aren't empty", Molitor says.
Thousands more continue in dire need of our help.
Please help us alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people - donate now!
After natural disasters, many dedicated and highly motivated citizens want to support the affected people in the crisis regions with donations in kind. Malteser International is grateful for this offer to help. Nevertheless, we have to ask for your comprehension as in most cases we cannot accept this offer due to the following reasons:
In general, the second hand articles that are put at our disposal as donations in kind have to be collected, stored and finally transported to the people in need. Often, the costs arising for collection, storage and transport are higher than the costs for new purchase. In addition, the transport of the collected relief goods causes important logistical problems that can be avoided when the necessary relief goods are purchased in or near the crisis region.
With regard to goods donated for crisis regions abroad, one has to consider further problems:
- In most cases, the donations in kind are not adapted to the cultural customs in the crisis region; in addition, the equipment necessary in order to prepare the donated food is often missing.
- The provision of different goods does not allow a fair distribution to the population. This also applies for prepared food parcels as they should always be aligned with the size of the families in need.
- The transport of collected donations in kind also causes big problems for the relief organisations with regard to border formalities. As it is not possible to check the contents of each parcel packed by a donator, the relief services cannot provide the correct cargo documents required by the customs. Thus, the import regulations of the countries cannot be observed.
Purchasing the relief goods in the crisis region or country of operation itself offers the big advantage that it strengthens the local and regional markets and the people affected by the disaster can again earn their own little income. Therefore, the best ways to help are financial donations and fundraising campaigns. Thus, you enable relief organisations to purchase exactly – and on the basis of the results of a professional needs assessment - what the people in the crisis region really need and it is guaranteed that the relief goods are adapted to the local context. Therefore, financial donations are really efficient and – compared to donations in kind and material donations – do not claim scarce resources like transport, staff or storage capacities.
Thank you very much for your understanding!
Malteser International kindly asks you to support our worldwide projects with financial contributions and donations – without earmarking them. Thus you leave it to our decision to spend the money where it is most urgently needed.
Earmarked donations quoting a special reference on the money transform form or in the online form oblige us to spend the money according to this purpose intended by the donator. This is only reasonable as long as there is a need in the acute disaster or crisis region.
In addition, it can happen that the fundraising results for single countries or programmes are unbalanced. Then it will not be possible to support sufficiently those activities and projects or so-called forgotten crises that are in dire need of financial backup.
Thank you for your confidence. It enables us to spend your donation where help is most needed.
Wherever humanitarian aid is needed, Malteser International is prepared to provide it – committing itself to support also the process of reconstruction and rehabilitation - after the acute emergency - on a sustainable basis. Nearly 1,000 staff members are active in more than 20 countries worldwide: 80 to 90 international experts are working in various crisis regions worldwide in close cooperation with about 900 local staff members – supported by 40 to 45 colleagues in the Headquarters in Germany.
The increasing complexity of the general conditions of humanitarian aid makes great demands on the qualification and commitment of our staff. We therefore expect a multitude of qualifications and competences that normally can only be gained in long-time practical experience. In many countries, we are also cooperating with local organisations and local staff who know best the needs and the local structures on the ground.
As employer, Malteser International has got a duty of care for his staff that are in many cases exposed to extreme working conditions and high risks with regard to their personal safety, security and health. We strive at minimising these risks by means of trainings, equipment and insurance coverage. A target-orientated and professional selection, preparation, supervision and support of the international and national staff are essential elements of the quality management for a professional collaboration in the fields of humanitarian aid.
The following principles are essential with regard to volunteering in the fields of humanitarian aid:
- The first to provide aid after a disaster are the people on the ground.
- In an acute emergency, there will not be sent volunteers, but – if at all – only qualified experts with long-time practical experience in the fields of humanitarian aid and the qualifications needed in the crisis region.
- In the fields of humanitarian aid it es essential to support the personal responsibility and the self-help capacities of the people affected by a crisis or a disaster.
- If possible, local staff should be employed as far as the necessary qualifications are available. Cash for work programmes – e.g. in order to remove debris and ruins after an earthquake – do not only give people a possibility to earn a first income to nourish their family after the disaster, but also contribute to the economic development of the country.
- There is a big need for aid workers that cannot be covered by the international and local full-time staff available.
- The deployment of volunteers only causes little travel costs, unless they are justified by the urgent need for aid workers.
- The employers of the volunteers do not claim costs for loss of pay.
- The time availability of the volunteers corresponds to the actual demand.
- The volunteers offer the required qualification to the full extent.
- The volunteers have at their command a good knowledge of the required foreign language (with regard to smooth communication in the international team on the ground, with the local partners and the beneficiaries) as well as a distinct intercultural sensitivity as well as
- the required physical and mental ability to work under extreme conditions.
As the worldwide relief service of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid with 22 national associations or priories being a member, in case of a disaster Malteser International receives offers for volunteering from all over the world. With regard to the deployment of volunteers, the decision of Malteser International will above all be based on the needs of the people affected by the disaster and not on the volunteers’ nationality.
Thank you for your understanding!
Doing sport makes you and others feel good
You are doing a lot of sport and would like to do good – but you do not know how… You can – for example – run marathon, crest Mount Everest or make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Look for friends and relatives who are willing to make a donation for people in need worldwide for each of your miles. Or you can organise a sporting event and contribute the proceeds towards a charitable donation. Thus you can help us together with the athletes and the audience to provide assistance for children, women and men in need worldwide.
Contributing the proceeds of a Christmas bazaar, of a charitable fund raiser at school or a musical event always has a double effect – as committed people do not only raise money to support our worldwide relief projects for people in need. At the same time, thanks to their commitment, they help to spread the news about the work of Malteser International. (In future, we would like to present many helpful actions here.)
Why not benefit from your good relationship with your parish or other authorities or institutions and ask them whether you would be allowed to set up a small information desk in order to present leaflets or brochures informing about the worldwide work of Malteser International? And perhaps you will even be prepared to tell people a little bit about our projects in Africa, Asia or the Americas. You can always call us or send us an email when you need additional information material.
Danh is actively involved in the preparation of emergency plans in his village. Photo: Guilhem Alandry
Danh's story: Never again left behind - Persons with disabilities prepare for disasters
Annual Review 2011
Read all about our work in the year 2011 here!