Saturday, June 25, 2005

Tsunami aid goes everywhere but where it needed to go.

Tsunami: This is shocking, who knew billions of dollars would be corrupted, stolen and given to the wrong people. Just about anyone who has paid attention whenever these disaster relief funds start up. The UN is doing a great job overseeing what is going on.

"Six months after the Asian tsunami, a leading international charity says the poorest victims have benefited the least from the massive relief effort. A survey by Oxfam found that aid had tended to go to businesses and landowners, exacerbating the divide between rich and poor. The poor were likely to spend much longer in refugee camps where it is harder to find work or rebuild lives. Oxfam has called for aid to go to the poorest and most marginalised. They must not be left out of reconstruction efforts, the charity said. ....This poverty gap is worst in Aceh, the Indonesian province which was the most badly affected area, already impoverished by conflict before the tsunami hit. Half a million survivors were homeless. Yet the wealthier among them have already been able to move out of temporary camps. Another survey by a group of British academics monitoring the delivery of aid has found that, six months on, there is little evidence of permanent accommodation being built for most people. It says starkly that these failures would not be tolerated after a disaster in the developed world. All aid agencies, as well as regional governments must share some blame for this failure, our correspondent adds. The unprecedented international response to the tragedy means that the immediate humanitarian demands could be fully funded. Failure to deliver assistance effectively to the poorest, or to plan properly for the future, reveals fundamental weaknesses in the system.

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