I oversee all of the organization's (the United Nations Children's Fund) work protecting children in emergency situations.

If you're interested in donating to our work, you can do that by visiting http://uni.cf/haiyan

If you're interested in following our work, please follow UNICEF on Twitter & Facebook

I'm excited to take your questions.


EDIT: Hi everyone, we're going to start at 10:30. Have a call with the Philippines.

Comments: 628 • Responses: 16  • Date: 

ckellingc334 karma

What percent of all money donated goes directly to relief efforts? Whats the usual breakdown of funds (x percent to food, y percent to medicine)?

TedChaiban409 karma

About 85 % of the funds go directly to the relief effort. UNICEF focus is on children. We are dealing with the most immediate life saving needs at this stage. The first priorities are water and sanitation, shelter, and health. In addition, we are concerned about children being separated from their families. So we need to work with partners to identify separated children, making sure they are in a safe space and trace their families.

bumblebeesbummy327 karma

Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this AMA! I'm thinking about donating through UNICEF but since this would be my first time donating internationally, I'm not very familiar with it. Could you tell me how much, say, $50 would translate to in terms of different kinds of aid that UNICEF will provide, for how many people and how long etc, so I can decide how much I would like to donate? Thanks again :)

TedChaiban517 karma

You can vaccinate a child for a dollar, an education kit for 80 students will cost 200 dollars. 10,000 water purification tablets cost 66 dollars and that cleans 50,000 liters of water.

Oswaldi122 karma

Love your work, UNICEF do great things.

Is it worse or better than CNN et al are saying? Blunt and open-ended question, but one which I guess must be asked.

TedChaiban197 karma

It is very bad. The description from colleagues on the ground is this is very similar to what happened with the Indian Ocean tsunami, where at the epicenter of the typhoon, notably Tacloban, there is large scale desctruction, debris is skewed all over, and access is made very difficult. In terms of responding to the needs, basic things like having fuel to move supplies is very difficult. And there is a large number of people who have been severely affected and displaced by this crisis. So this is for real. And, we need to make this a priority.

flippityfloppityfloo103 karma

Hi Ted,

Thank you for all that you do with UNICEF and the world around us.

I have two questions for you regarding relief aid:

  1. What more can be done to stomp out fraudulent aid relief funds or "organizations" who seek to profit from horrific tragedy?

  2. Where do you see the future of aid relief heading? For example, do you expect more international cooperation, foresee organizational mergers, etc.

Please tell all of your employees how much their work is appreciated.

TedChaiban106 karma

  1. There are a large number of credible organizations on the ground, including organizations whose name you'd recognize, such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, Save the Children, local Red Cross, as well as credible UN agencies such as World Food Programme, WHO, and of course UNICEF. A number of media outlets have supported links to credible organizations and this is one way to be able to contribute if you'd like to do so.

TedChaiban91 karma

Thank you for all your questions and your interest in your response to the Philippines. It's important not to forget the children that have been so severely affected. Please count on UNICEF to support the children of the Philippines and continue to respond to their immediate needs.

Olclops82 karma

I'm interested in kind of the dull, bureaucratic details. Once you get past the short term emergency, basic lifesustaining relief efforts, what does the transition to recovery look like? After water, food, sanitation are improved, what becomes the big challenge next?

TedChaiban130 karma

This is an important question to start addressing from the very beginning. What is important is to work on the resumption of basic social services so there is a sense of normalcy and children can access these services. Amongst the most importance, is the resumption of education so that children are in a familiar environment and begin the healing process. In addition, children will need pyschosocial support, to deal with the stress that they have been under, including the possible loss of lives in their families and loved ones. We also need to start looking at early recovery and reconstruction activities from the get go, starting with water systems but also looking at health and education infrastructure.

brownboy1362 karma

How often do your relief efforts hit bureaucratic roadblocks? Which are the most irritating to have to handle?

TedChaiban104 karma

The biggest obstacle right now, is access. The difficulties of reaching the population because of damaged infrastructure is one we need to overcome. We have gotten some portable latrines on the ground, and therapeutic foods, along with shelter and hygiene and sanitation kits. But more is needed. Supplies are currently being air lifted to nearby Cebu airport and being trucked across Leyte to Tacloban. This and security are the main and immediate concerns. We should also recognize that the Philippino authorities have been very helpful in allowing staff and supplies in with minimal beauracratic hurdles. So the concern is really one of airport congestion, local infrastructure capacity, etc.

TheStrangestSecret30 karma

Hi Ted I admire the great work you and your organisation do. My question is what is the biggest problem you are currently facing in aiding those affected by this terrible disaster in the Philippines?

TedChaiban41 karma

Access. Security. And the importance of mobilizing both the people, the supply, and the funds to support the national response and get the assistance to the people on the ground, in Tacloban but also in Ormoc and also areas in western Visayas that have been affected. We have staff in these locations, some supplies are already on the ground, and more on the way. Logistics will be key.

marbergler28 karma

Wow, thank you for taking the time to do this! How does unicef prioritize its work in a situation like this? I mean, how do you even know where to begin?

TedChaiban38 karma

We focus on children's needs, beginning with lifesaving requirements. In this kind of disaster, it first means looking at water, sanitation, hygiene, shelter, food, and health. Working with governments, we coordinate with different organizations so there is a division of labor and we avoid duplication. UNICEF also considers education to be a very important humanitarian requirement because children need a sense of stability or normalcy in the midst of the chaos, and education can be a safe space for children while they also continue to learn and grow. Finally, there are a number of child protection concerns in these situations, I have already mentioned the importance of identifying the importance of separated children and reuniting them with their families. There are also concerns about protecting children from violence, including sexual and gender based violence.

BilboDouchebagg1ns26 karma

How is the situation in the Philippines campared to how the situation was in Thailand after the Tsunami?

TedChaiban37 karma

There are great similarities between the situation currently and the situation in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia after the tsunami. Including the damage of significant swathes of territory and the difficulties with access that follow. The immediate needs currently are again similar to those that were felt during the tsunami, including debris collection, burying those that have past away, then quickly addressing immediate water, food, shelter, and health needs. In addition, it's very important early on to identify families that have been separated, and bring children who may be on their own, back in contact with family members.

Crackfigure14 karma

Will UNICEF support the use of crisis mapping and crowd sourcing to show where help is most needed?

TedChaiban14 karma

There are a number of social media tools, SMS technology, mobile phone applications, that are important in determining as soon as minimal communication infrastructure is established, where help is most needed, to provide feedback also on the quality of what is received. Organizations like UNICEF need to be accountable to local populations and these different means of communication provide not only a channel to inform that population of what they can expect, but to also get feedback on the quality of what is being done and suggestions on how to improve it.

Priyal10111 karma

Which is the toughest emergency u have faced?

TedChaiban18 karma

Indian Ocean tsunami, Darfur, Syria, and we are very concerned about the current situation in the Philippines.

calculusknight10 karma

First off, thank you for your work.

How much can private donations do to alleviate problems in comparison to huge relief funds by nations or organizations such as the US or the EU?

TedChaiban23 karma

Every little bit counts. In the case of the tsunami response and the horn of Africa drought response, private donations were key to supporting the response and made up 30 percent of all funds received.

cre8ive657 karma

Hi Ted! How long will UNICEF's focus be on the Philippines? Is it just an effort to get people food an water in the short run or will you focus on the long run rehabilitation? Or is it a combination of the two?

TedChaiban15 karma

UNICEF was in the Philippines before the crisis (we have been there for many years). We are there during the crisis, including with staff in Taclobon, Ormoc, Roxas. We will be there after the crisis to support the government of the Philippines and civil society with recovery and reconstruction.

quantum_entanglement6 karma

What were your priorities in sending relief in this incident and how soon were you aware that this typhoon was going to strike before you began to set things in motion? Also how do you decide what current/upcoming events/disasters you should take a focus on?

TedChaiban7 karma

We had staff and supplies pre positioned mid last week to provide initial response but clearly more is needed.

Car-Los-Danger-6 karma

Why is this guy not answering any questions?

TedChaiban6 karma

Sorry I had phone call with the Philippines, and we were delayed!