Background on "Diakonisches Werk" and Diakonie Emergency
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 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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
Summary of DEA interventions in Azerbaijan.
||Funds (in German Marks)
||INSAN & Ministry of Health
||Food and medical aid for refugees and vulnerable groups
||Medical aid for Thalassamie-sick children
||Material aid for refugees and vulnerable groups
||Material aid (food, supplementary food), for refugees, children in
nurseries and schools, vulnerable groups. Funded by ECHO
||Material aid (food, medicines) including logistics-vulnerable groups
|Iranian Red Crescent Society
||Emergency relief (supplies, setting up of camps) for refugees. Funded
||Feeding programs/food aid for refugees and vulnerable groups
||Medical aid for Thalassamie-sick children.
||Feeding program for vulnerable and disabled children. Phase I Funded by
||INSAN capacity building & institutional support
||Emergency relief after floods (mainly in refugee camps)
||Assessment and project study
||Feeding programs-Phase II
||Integrated Relief & Reha program
||Integrated Relief and Reha program, phase I
||Medical aid for Thalassamie-children
||Integrated Relief and Reha program, phase II. Funded by BMZ
||Integrated relief and reha program, phase III
||Flood relief. Funded by BMZ