Humanitarian Aid Not Adequate for Global Needs

Humanitarian Aid Struggling to Meet Needs of Global Humanitarian Crises.

The 2018 World Disasters Report released by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) paints a bleak picture of the state of global humanitarian aid. This report describes a humanitarian sector ill-equipped to meet the needs of all people living in crisis globally. In 2017, humanitarian assistance supported less than half of people in need.

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in October of 2015, pledged to “end poverty and hunger everywhere” by 2030, and claimed “no one will be left behind”. However, this IFRC report expresses concern for the millions that are and will be left behind by increasing humanitarian need.

Tough Decisions re Rebuilding the CBD After an Earthquake – Christchurch, NZ

Christchurch Cathedral

Image by jay galvin via Flickr

In an opinion piece in a NZ paper, the authors suggests that it is not possible to rebuild the Central Business District in Christchurch, NZ.  The issues he raises should be pertinent to other communities facing rebuilding decisions.

CBD can’t be rebuilt – Bob Jones. Some of the essential information is as follows:

Prior to the earthquakes, Christchurch’s CBD retail heart was already in trouble, with empty shops abounding, while those remaining lived off the office workers, now gone. This was a direct consequence of the construction of large suburban shopping centres, which killed off the CBD as a retail location, just as has occurred in many other cities throughout the Western World. Examples in New Zealand include Lower Hutt and now, increasingly, Hamilton.

It would be possible to build a new, smaller Christchurch CBD with high-rise office buildings to support a smaller retail base, if the office buildings were confined to a tight area. But while that is physically possible, it is absolutely not financially feasible for several reasons.

Haiti recovery – big problems and strong language re donors being duped and lack of accountability

Major Aid Organizations “Duped Donors” and “Failed Haiti” Group Charges; HuffPost, Nov. 19.

The Disaster Accountability Project (DAP) released an online petition today, targeting leaders of major disaster relief and aid organizations for failing to do more to prevent the cholera outbreak in Haiti ten months after a devastating earthquake killed up to 300,000 and left 1.5 million homeless. Major relief organizations raised billions of dollars, while telling the public that their relief efforts included water and sanitation work. With half of the funds raised still in the bank, DAP says that aid organizations failed to use the funds with the same urgency conveyed to donors, and that a cholera epidemic was avoidable.

Executive Director Ben Smilowitz says the failure of aid organizations to respond quickly to the epidemic is different from donor nations promising aid that never materialized. “Donors have been duped. They generously donated in response to urgent appeals to save lives and help the people of Haiti after the devastating earthquake. Now, after billions in cash was raised, earthquake survivors are dying of cholera because conditions are so poor and the donated money is sitting in the bank. This is not what donors had in mind and it underscores the importance of transparency and accountability in relief and aid situations….”

For more information about the Disaster Accountability Project and the full text of this report, go to their website.