Case Study: Crisis in Kenya
When violence erupted in Kenya in late December 2007 following disputed national election results, relief organization Medical Assistance Programs International quickly launched a multipronged response. The MAP relief team rushed emergency blankets, food, lifesaving medicines and basic health care to meet the immediate survival needs of up to 10,000 people in the Kibera slums outside of Nairobi, one of the hardest-hit areas.
For more than 25 years, MAP had a well-established program office and strong community presence in Nairobi. Many of the people MAP was working with before the crisis suddenly had nothing. Their homes were burned down, and they fled for their lives.
The crisis touched MAP’s staff members, as well. MAP employees couldn’t access certain areas because of their tribal affiliations. Others couldn’t leave their homes because of the ongoing violence. Because of this history and connection with the community, MAP had a strong obligation to respond quickly to this disaster and bring help to people in need.
MAP’s Disaster Response Committee determined that the Kenya crisis had risen to a Category II Emergency. Projected costs to cover the lifesaving supplies and health care needed for thousands of injured and homeless people exceeded $100,000, and the impact of the event affected 25,000 to 200,000 people.
MAP needed to decide whether or not it should ask its donors for emergency support. The MAP team weighed several concerns:
● How would donors respond to this man-made disaster? From past experience, MAP knew that donors are most responsive to sudden and shocking disasters. Donors also respond more readily to catastrophes like hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes versus man-made disasters like the Kenya political crisis.
● Would donors be tapped out financially just weeks after a very successful year-end campaign?
● If MAP proceeded with this emergency appeal, how would it affect the results of its upcoming regular campaigns?