Saturday, July 23, 2016

Tsunami aid outweighs aid for other needs

The amount of money donated to the tsunami was also disproportionate to what the rest of the country had. The needs outside of the affected areas were great, too; in both Indonesia and Sri Lanka, conflicts had been brewing long before December 26, 2004. . . .

After the tsunami, donors earmarked funding specifically for tsunami programming. Some of the camps for tsunami victims that I visited were replete with flushing toilets, regular electricity, and hardwood floors. A few meters away were the camps where people displaced by the enduring domestic conflicts had been living. Their age showed: the tents were tattered, the alleyways lined with sewage, the latrines daunting, odiferous cesspools. 
"We've been getting complaints. It's really causing a lot of problems," one of the local leders explained to me. . . . "People from the conflict camp are asking, 'Why can't we have what they are getting? Because we didn't lose our house in the tsunami? We we lost our house long ago!'"
Jessica Alexander, Chasing Chaos: My Decade in and out of Humanitarian Aid (New York: Broadway Books, 2013), p. 232-34.

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