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Wednesday, 12 January, 2005

What is Aid, really?

I've been forwarded this article from the New Yorker, and I feel that many more aid workers should be reading After the Flood: The Third R -

Govind was thrilled to see aid workers. He took them to the beach, showed them how far the water had reached, and described how the boats had been sucked out to sea. He pointed out a damaged boat from another village that had washed ashore. They were struck by the neatness of the waterfront: the debris had mostly been cleared. They asked Govind how many people had died in Komitichavadi, and Govind said none.

This seemed to disappoint the people from Bangalore. The woman mentioned that the scene did not much resemble what she had seen on TV. They had come looking, one of the workers later said, for "places that had been really destroyed."
2 Comments Post a comment
Blogger Danielle said :

I don't understand why Canada is giving so much money away. When it comes to people in our country that needs help (example, the ones on the streets of toronto) we don't come running to the rescue. If we can give money to others in other countries then we should be able to do the sme for the people living on the streets in Canada.

Thu Jan 13, 03:32:00 am IST  
Anonymous Anonymous said :

We experienced something similar in Krabi, Thailand. Ironically news reporters are often more sensitive than aid workers. If the village hasn't been flattened or lost significant numbers of the population, no one is interested. But children in the villages we're visiting are not smiling and have frequent nightmares, their parents and grandparents feel unsafe in their homes, and with no tourists and no opportunity to catch fish (boats and nets gone), the future is very uncertain. We are switching our focus to support local communities being neglected by "disaster relief" and looking at ways of helping communities to find their own ways through the trauma we have all experienced.
I understand about prioritising but this ranking of grief and pain is disturbing and tasteless.

Thu Jan 13, 04:51:00 pm IST