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DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Deloitte aids international humanitarian organizations
by Staff Writers
New York (UPI) Dec 16, 2013


UN leader Ban to see Philippines typhoon city
United Nations, United States (AFP) Dec 16, 2013 - UN leader Ban Ki-moon will go to the typhoon-stricken Philippines city of Tacloban this week to highlight the growing number of weather disasters.

"2013 was another year of extreme weather -- as we saw most recently with Typhoon Haiyan. On Thursday, I will depart for Manila and Tacloban for a firsthand assessment of the aftermath," Ban said Monday as he announced the visit.

The UN secretary general is to arrive in Manila on Friday for talks with government leaders and will go to Tacloban on Saturday, UN spokeswoman Eri Kaneko said.

"He will visit affected communities in Tacloban," Kaneko said. The UN leader will leave the Philippines on Sunday.

The Philippines government says that more than 6,000 people died in the November 8 typhoon -- one of the strongest storms ever recorded -- which badly hit Tacloban and surrounding regions. Almost 1,800 people are still missing.

Ban said that he is organizing a major summit on climate change for September 23 next year, just ahead of the UN General Assembly.

Two international humanitarian organizations are to be helped in communications and coordination of aid by Deloitte under its Humanitarian Innovation Program.

Details of the project with AtrocityWatch and the International Organization for Migration were made public by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

"Deloitte believes that when the private and public sectors combine their skills and work together -- in new and innovative ways -- we can better tackle the big issues facing society today," said Barry Salzberg, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited's global chief executive officer. "It's a responsibility and a privilege to bring what we do best to the vital work of these organizations.

"Adding our innovative thinking to the skills of startups, such as AtrocityWatch, and established organizations, like IOM, allows us to leverage each other's expertise to create solutions that better enable the sector to prepare and respond to crises."

According to the plan, Deloitte professionals will team with AtrocityWatch, a technology startup that monitors global atrocities, to help develop a big data application that leverages social media and person-centered data around the world to provide early warning of potential mass atrocities. Deloitte professionals will provide data analytics and cybersecurity expertise for the creation of a mobile application to link people under threat with decision-makers who are in a position to respond.

Deloitte U.K.'s office in Switzerland will team with IOM to help with a systems model to manage refugee migration and allow the different organizations involved to stay better informed, coordinated, and connected to each other during crises.

The model will use technology to enhance information sharing between sector-specific responders for food distribution, infrastructure rehabilitation, shelter and health.

"Accurate and timely information sharing is vital," said Mohammed Abdiker, director of the Department of Operations and Emergencies, IOM. "Our goal through this collaboration is to design an operating model that will enhance the real-time processing of information between humanitarian cluster coordinators off site with those on the ground managing the day-to-day needs of the humanitarian camps."

Deloitte said its Humanitarian Innovation Program was developed after consultations with humanitarian organizations that identified the need for innovation and collaboration with the private sector.

The Program has already successfully delivered projects with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Save the Children International.

"When disasters strike, Save the Children International must be ready to rapidly transform its operations from every-day activities to a large-scale emergency response," said David Wightwick, deputy humanitarian Director, Operations. "We asked Deloitte to assess how effectively we scale up and scale down our local operations during international humanitarian crises, knowing that they would draw on their broad experience of tackling similar challenges within the private and public sectors.

"The resulting findings have provided us with a deep analysis of the way we operate, and a framework for how we can strengthen our model in the future."

Deloitte said projects under the program will begin next year.

Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients in multiple industries.

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