Aid Agencies wasted Tsunami relief funds
Aid agencies competing against each other wasted most of the funds given for tsunami relief efforts to Sri Lanka following the 2004 disaster, a report by researchers from RMIT and Monash Universities in Melbourne, Colombo University in Sri Lanka and Madras University in India and commissioned by Aus AID have said according to ‘The Australian’ newspaper.
The researchers say more than 500 aid agencies participated in the relief work in Sri Lanka alone, but many did not have experience in recovery after such a large-scale disaster, in which 230,000 people were killed in 14 countries.
The 385-page study says more care should have been devoted to the construction of temporary housing, because some of the resulting shelters housed families for up to four years, ‘The Australian’ reported.
The Director of RMIT’s Globalism Research Centre and co-leader, Martin Mulligan with Yaso Nadarajah, said unless governments and non-government organisations absorbed the lessons from the tsunami, “they will continue to repeat the same mistakes and waste a significant amount of global aid money.”
He said examples of effective aid tended to be found where international NGOs formed strong partnerships with local community groups to ensure the aid was properly targeted.
“But we also found that a lot of post-tsunami aid money was wasted by aid agencies acting in haste, and in competition with each other,” he said. It says wastage resulted in part from “pressure from government, media and international funding bodies for quick results.”
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