NCDP Perspectives

Children in Crisis: Supporting Parents and Caregivers of Syrian Refugee Children


Project Overview At the National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, we have an extensive history of developing and applying research to meet the unique needs of children in disasters. Although our focus has mostly been domestic, we have been involved in many international disasters and crises. Last summer our director, Dr. Irwin Redlener, traveled to Greece on a fact finding trip to the Syrian refugee camps to see the plight of children caught in this crisis. What he found is what we have all come to know from the media, the research, and our peers involved in this response; we are losing a generation of children whose lives have been disrupted by war, migration and uncertainty. In May of 2018, Islamic Relief USA funded NCDP to develop a mobile application to assist caregivers in identifying and preventing early mental health issues among Syrian refugee children. This project leverages our long history of developing evidence-based programs to meet the needs of children affected by disasters, and

November 4, 2018

Pediatrician: If I Saw a Child Mistreated Like ICE Is Doing, I’d Call the Authorities


This post was originally published on June 28, 2018 in the Daily Beast. The bandwagon of child care and health professionals who have characterized the federal government’s forced separation of migrant children from their parents as “child abuse by government” is overflowing. It would indeed be difficult to concoct a more traumatizing experience for already vulnerable infants and children then what these kids have gone through. The fact is that, as a pediatrician, if I saw a child being subject to the

July 26, 2018

The Changing Nature of Terrorism: What You Need to Know Now


It has long made sense to promote individual, family, and community resilience, but the notion of being “prepared” took on new urgency in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. America grappled with the possibility of more complex, large-scale attacks devised and operationalized by nefarious and powerful organizations based in other regions of the world. The possibility of such terror operations remains. Weapons of mass destruction from chemical and biological agents to the deployment of improvised nuclear devices and cyberattacks will always be “in the realm of possibility.” What has also emerged over the past few years though, is a heightened focus on smaller scale attacks that are nonetheless capable of inducing terror in a target population without needing complex, costly and time-consuming planning like a 9/11 style attack. While these less elaborate schemes generally have fewer fatalities and less evident physical destruction, they are clearly capable of causing uncertainty, panic

September 23, 2016

How the World is Failing a Generation of Lost Kids


Where is the international community as million of children grow up fleeing violence, bombarded by extremism, and lacking even the most basic rights? Try wrapping your mind around some numbers just coming to light from

September 21, 2015