NCDP Perspectives

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

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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

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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

We still haven’t made things right in Flint

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This post was originally published on March 7, 2018 in the Washington Post. In many ways my trip last month to Flint, Mich. — now the symbolic epicenter of how bad decisions, bad politics

July 26, 2018

The water shortage may be coming to your neighborhood

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This post was originally published on March 5, 2018 in CNN. Cape Town, South Africa, is set to run out of fresh water for its 4 million citizens on July 15. On that day — known as “Day Zero” — the city plans to set up 200 water access points for gathering 6.6 gallons of water per person per day. That’s 200 access points for a critical resource, shared among 4 million people. The tragedy is that with proper planning and effective early interventions, this crisis could have been averted. Many experts believe that warning bells were chiming as early as 1990, but now Cape Town may have the dubious distinction of being the first major developed city calling in the military to keep the peace over water scarcity. It’s immaterial whether or not you believe climate change is to blame, because disaster preparedness and mitigation are crucial either way — and could

July 26, 2018