The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a disaster recovery fund, a part of the Friends of Children Fund, through which contributions can be made to support pediatricians and the children they serve as a result of natural or man-made disasters anywhere in the world.
The fund was established in 2005 and was originally called the "AAP Hurricane Katrina Victims Relief Fund". AAP Chapters in the Gulf Coast area were asked to conduct a needs assessment and were awarded funds to support the most pressing needs. Eventually, a new Disaster Recovery gift designation was created within the Friends of Children Fund to support disaster recovery efforts.
How Funds Have Been Used
Funds have been used to support:
- Puerto Rico Chapter – An initial needs assessment of pediatric needs throughout affected communities and shelters. The funds will support the staff coordination for cataloguing and distribution of basic survival supplies to children in hospitals, shelters, and communities.
- Louisiana Chapter – Coordination and implementation of a "Pediatric Disaster Preparedness Roundtable" that included exercises with various scenarios and identification of regional pediatric contacts for future preparedness planning.
- Michigan Chapter – Development and administration of programs aimed at mitigating the impacts of lead exposure on children.
- Puerto Rico Chapter – A full-day educational program, "Symposium-Updates on Zika Virus", offered to neonatal nurses and pediatricians caring for children with congenital Zika virus in Puerto Rico.
- Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey – Working with the International Pediatric Association, funds were sent to Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey to help train pediatricians on the best methods of treatment for Syrian refugee children.
- Oklahoma Chapter – A project titled, "Oklahoma Pediatric Disaster Mental Health Initiative" specific to the recover from tornados/severe weather.
- Connecticut Chapter – A project titled, "Care Coordination for Mental Services for the Children of Newtown, CT" in follow-up to the shooting in Newtown, CT.
- AAP District II New York – A project titled, "Rebuilding Bright Futures for New York's Children and Pediatricians After Superstorm Sandy" that focused on training in mental health for pediatricians, social services, foster care providers, and school personnel.
- New Jersey Chapter – A project titled "Supporting Children in the Aftermath of Disaster".
- Missouri Chapter – A project titled, "One Year Anniversary, Recognition and Recovery "After the Storm".
- Vermont Chapter – A project titled, "Tropical Storm Irene Flood Disaster Relief for Vermont Children and Families".
- Alabama Chapter – A "School & the 3 Rs: Recognition, Recovery, and Resiliency" program.
- Japanese Pediatric Society – Addressed child health needs following the earthquakes, tsunami, and damage to the nuclear power plant.
- Chili – Purchased medicine and medical equipment to treat Chilean children.
- Haitian Pediatric Society – Addressed children's needs through strategic planning, purchase of medical supplies, and support for Haitian pediatricians and pediatric residents after the 2010 earthquakes.
- Texas Chapter – Offered stipends to pediatric residents displaced because of Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike.
If you would like additional information on any of these funded activities, email DisasterReady@aap.org.
Donate to Support AAP Disaster Recovery
AAP members can make contributions for disaster recovery through the AAP Friends of Children Fund at any time online or by calling 888/700-5378. While gifts to a specific disaster are appreciated, please consider general support. Not limiting your contribution to one disaster gives the AAP the flexibility to respond to the most urgent needs as they occur.
Apply for Funding
It is preferable if the application is submitted by an AAP Chapter that has conducted a needs assessment. For more information, see the Application Form or e-mail DisasterReady@aap.org. Staff is available to help you with this process.
Promoting Adjustment and Helping Children Cope Resources
Disasters and other crisis events have the potential to cause short- and long-term effects on the psychological functioning, emotional adjustment, health, and developmental trajectory of children. It's important that pediatricians, and all adults in a position to support children, are prepared to help children understand what has happened and to promote effective coping strategies. See the AAP Promoting Adjustment and Helping Children Cope resource page for additional information.