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 Program Resume - Diakonie Emergency Aid (DEA)

 Duration: 01.01.1998 - present
 Location: Baku
 Sectors: Agriculture
Local NGO development

Background on "Diakonisches Werk" and Diakonie Emergency Aid

The "Diakonisches Werk" (Diakonie in the English language) of the Evangelical church in Germany is the social service arm of the Protestant church in Germany. In each of the federal states regional branches had been installed for the social activities of the church in Germany. The headquarters, staffed with more than 300 employees, is in Stuttgart.

Diakonies headquarters is structured in seven departments. The department for Ecumenical Services is entrusted with social assistance outside of Germany and comprise various sub-departments, one of them being Diakonie Emergency Aid (DEA), established in 1959.

DEA was founded with the objective of providing humanitarian aid worldwide during catastrophes and irrespective from religion, color of the skin, ideology and nationality of the victims. Basic rules of DEA are:

  • Disaster, war, crisis, continual emergency cause human suffering and need, which cannot be overcome by the concerned alone. To alleviate human suffering and human misery is the ultimate goal of emergency aid.
  • All human beings have the right to humanitarian assistance and humanitarian protection as they have the right to grant humanitarian services and humanitarian protection.
  • Humanitarian assistance may not be depended on political or religious conviction nor be in support of these. When weighing priorities for assistance to be rendered, the only criteria is the need of the people.
  • Assistance and its implementation will respect human dignity. Assistance will be in respect of existing laws, culture and tradition in the area of need. Those who are enabled to render assistance are obliged to work in a way that is transparent for those being assisted and those who made assistance possible.
  • Emergency Aid is prioritarily survival-aid (immediate aid, disaster mitigation); right from the onset, however emergency aid tries to include and integrate aspects with longer term efficiency (disaster preparedness and -prevention, normalization and rehabilitation). While trying right from the beginning to carry out emergency aid together with those affected, it often services as a bridge for "help to self-help" and further development measures. Emergency Aid aims at not so much "to care" but rather "to enable".
  • Material aid needs to be adjusted to local standards, wherever possible, priority is given to local and/or regional purchase.

DEA provides assistance often in cooperation with other, mainly church related organizations, in the field of emergency and relief as well as humanitarian aid. DEA is a member of ACT (Action by Churches Together), a worldwide network of churches and church organizations for humanitarian aid / emergency aid, hosted by the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation.

DEAs average annual volume is about 150 projects with a financial portfolio of about 50.000.000 DM per year. Finances are ensured by mainly donations and fund raising activities. DEA Stuttgart is staffed with four people: The Head of DEA, a financial controller, a secretary and an administrative assistant.

History about Diakonie Emergency Aid in Azerbaijan

Since 1992, DEA has supported the Government of Azerbaijan in their quest for increasing living conditions of about one million victims of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees.

  1. In 1992, DEA has collaborated with INSAN and the Ministry of Health. The project included the distribution of food and medical supplies for refugees and other social vulnerable groups. The 60.000 DM (German Marks) funding was made available by DEA.
  2. In 1993, DEA conducted three different interventions with a total budget of 1.097.160 DM. The first project involved a collaboration with INSAN and provided medical aid for Thalassamie-sick children. The second project provided material aid to refugees and social vulnerable groups. The third project conducted by DEA was funded by ECHO. It included the distribution of material aid (mainly food, supplementary food for refugees, children in nurseries and schools and vulnerable groups
  3. In 1994, DEA has conducted four interventions with an accumulated budget of 1.718.500 DM. The first project, conducted in collaboration with INSAN, provided material aid (food, medicines, logistics) to vulnerable groups. The second project, which collaborated with the Iranian Red Crescent Society, provided emergency Relief (supplies and setting up camps) for refugees. A third, ECHO-funded project, give food aid to refugees and vulnerable groups and was conducted in collaboration with INSAN. INSAN was also the major implementing organization in the fourth project that provided medical aid to Thalassamie-sick children.
  4. In 1995, DEA conducted five interventions with a total port folio of 2.439.000 DM. Two programs (phase I and II) were funded by ECHO, three directly by DEA core fund money. The ECHO funded programs, which were executed through INSAN, concerned the distribution of food aid for vulnerable groups and disabled children. One project focused on human and institutional capacity building of INSAN. The fourth project dealt with emergency relief after floods (mainly in refugee camps). Finally, DEA conducted in 1995 an assessment and project study.
  5. In 1996, DEA supported 4 interventions with a total budget of 1.164.400 DM. Two programs (phase I and II) were funded by BMZ, German Ministry of Technical Cooperation, concerned an integrated relief and rehabilitation project. INSAN assisted in the third project that involved the distribution of medical aid for Thalassamie-sick children.

The integrated relief and rehabilitation started in May 1996. About 1800 IDP families in the regions of Agcabedi and Beylagan were given a small (21 m2 in size), mobile greenhouse (GH), comprising of metal rods and transparent plastic sheeting, as well as seeds and gardening tools. Following the distribution, the 1800 selected beneficiaries received advise on gardening through visits by Diakonie staff and via written handouts. The experiences of the greenhouse distribution program underlined the need of an extension-type service.

Since 1997, Diakonie has worked on the development of an extension concept. The extension system developed recognizes that gardeners rely on a broad range of information sources. A key task of extension support is to strengthen the communication networks and processes on various levels, in addition to providing technical advice when necessary. The extension concept developed has been tested in one region with 350 families and will now be implemented in the remaining two areas. Moreover, DEA has completed the preparation of an extension manual, with special references to self-help principles, and can offer the services of an experienced extension team consisting of male and female, local extension staff. The 680.000 DM is funded by DEA.

In December 1996, the head of the Executive Committee of Terter Region draw the attention of DEA in Baku to the grim situation of the deteriorated water supply system for drinking and irrigation in his region. The cease fire boundary, established in 1993, extended through the northwestern portion of the country and separates the Terter region from its major source of surface water, which originates the Carcank Reservoir. The Carcank Reservoir provides water to the Terter River which previously supplied the majority of water resources available to the Terter and Barda regions. Armenian occupation of the Carcank Reservoir Hydroelectric Station has also cut the primary source of electricity serving the Terter and Barda regions. The Terter population, including about 18,000 IDPs, increasingly depends on single point distribution, pumped water supplies. Consequently, DEA decided to intervene and to rehabilitate 21 pump installations, in part with collaboration of the users. Funds were ensured by BMZ, the German Ministry for Technical Cooperation. DEAs experiences were very well documented and shared with other humanitarian organizations in Azerbaijan working on water and sanitation.

Since June 1997, the sites where wells were rehabilitated were taken as focal points to set up a sustainable water system in collaboration with users communities and with the responsible authorities in this region. At 15 sites user communities undertook considerable efforts to increase the control of their water supply. The material installed by DEA was therefore handed over to these user communities.

In October 1997, DEA responded to an urgent appeal of the Government of Azerbaijan for assistance in easing the damages of the heavy rainfall and flooding in the northern regions. The objectives of the program were two-fold:

1. rehabilitation of water supply and sewerage systems,
2. rehabilitation of refugee accommodations.
Within 5 months, DEA employees repaired and restored, in collaboration with the responsible departments in the region Yevlakh, Goranboy, Agdash, Goychay and Barda: 27 subartezian wells, 7 pump stations for water supply and sewerage system, 340 m pipeline for sewerage water, 1 water treatment plant, 1 drainage system for surface water, 2 river water drainage systems for water supply, 1069 refugee shelters and 9 public buildings in a refugee camp. The funding of 1.000.000 DM was ensured by the German Ministry for Technical Cooperation Altogether the living conditions were improved for 172.000 people.

Summary of DEA interventions in Azerbaijan.

Year Implemented by Intervention Funds (in German Marks)
1992 INSAN & Ministry of Health Food and medical aid for refugees and vulnerable groups 60.000
    Total: 60.000
1993 INSAN Medical aid for Thalassamie-sick children 130.000
INSAN Material aid for refugees and vulnerable groups 170.000
Diakonie/INSAN Material aid (food, supplementary food), for refugees, children in nurseries and schools, vulnerable groups. Funded by ECHO 797.160
    Total: 1.097.160
1994 INSAN Material aid (food, medicines) including logistics-vulnerable groups 68.500
Iranian Red Crescent Society Emergency relief (supplies, setting up of camps) for refugees. Funded by ECHO. 150.000
Diakonie/INSAN Feeding programs/food aid for refugees and vulnerable groups 1.200.000
INSAN Medical aid for Thalassamie-sick children. 300.000
    Total: 1.718.500
1995 Diakonie/INSAN Feeding program for vulnerable and disabled children. Phase I Funded by ECHO 1.200.000
INSAN INSAN capacity building & institutional support 50.000
Diakonie Emergency relief after floods (mainly in refugee camps) 100.000
Diakonie Assessment and project study 29.000
Diakonie/INSAN Feeding programs-Phase II 1.060.000
    Total: 2.439.000
1996 Diakonie Integrated Relief & Reha program 100.000
Diakonie Integrated Relief and Reha program, phase I 401.800
INSAN Medical aid for Thalassamie-children 150.000
Diakonie/INSAN Integrated Relief and Reha program, phase II. Funded by BMZ 512.600
    Total: 1.164.400
1997 Diakonie Integrated relief and reha program, phase III 680.000
Diakonie Flood relief. Funded by BMZ 1.000.000
    Total: 1.680.000

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