Asian Development Bank meeting must guarantee vital funding for tsunami response, says Oxfam
Delegates attending Asian Development Bank meeting must guarantee vital funding for long-term tsunami recovery and rehabilitation programs in Asia, said international aid agency Oxfam.
High-level delegates from the international community will meet in Manila today to discuss how to coordinate the long-term recovery and reconstruction phase of the tsunami response.
Oxfam's Regional Director for East Asia, Ashvin Dayal said: "As we move into the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase we need assurance that the funding will continue. We should be aiming for ‘reconstruction plus’ so that communities are helped to sustain a better quality of life than before the tsunami struck.
“Delegates at the ADB meeting have an opportunity to set the bar high. It's what millions of individuals who have generously pledged money expect, and most critically, it's what the communities devastated by the Tsunami expect."
Oxfam is calling on all concerned agencies and governments to do more to consult with the communities they are there to help. A lack of consultation has meant that some of the aid delivered has not always been what is most needed. For example, in Sri Lanka some of the housing is being built without consultation and is not appropriate. Donors and those coordinating the response need to ensure that all agencies are working to meet the internationally accepted ‘Sphere’ standards for disaster relief.
In some cases the influx of money has meant that there are too many organizations working without the appropriate experience, competencies and skills. In some parts of Southern India and Sri Lanka for example the coordination of agencies is still a problem, while in others local governments are coordinating the effort effectively.
Dayal: "National governments must show leadership by coordinating the response to ensure that all agencies working in the region are appropriate to the task."
Oxfam is also calling on the ADB and other major donors to ensure that all people affected by the tsunami receive inclusive and equal assistance. Many communities face deep uncertainty over their futures, due to a continuing lack of clarity on people's ability to return to their homes and restore their livelihoods, or how to resolve legal problems pertaining to damaged or lost property and land.
"As the humanitarian relief operations are replaced by less visible forms of longer-term assistance and greater involvement of the private sector, there is a risk that credible mechanisms for community and local civil society participation will not be established. We are concerned that decisions with far reaching implications for the lives of local communities could be made without genuine consultation, and that ultimately inappropriate interventions will be put into place," Dayal warned.
The major aid agencies involved needs to help ensure access to accurate information on policies, as well as clear mechanisms through which questions and concerns can be directed to appropriate authorities and actors. Transparency and accountability must be included at all levels.
Oxfam is working across the affected region. At the same as supporting cash for work programs, longer-term community based livelihood programs, and shelter reconstruction, Oxfam continues to provide basic needs assistance, including maintenance of short-term water supply and sanitation systems, and delivery of essential household items to many hundreds of thousands of people affected by the tsunami disaster.
For Further inquiries please contact:
Kim Tan - Oxfam International Media Officer, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
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