Saturday, January 23, 2010

What do Haitians need to know about the international responses to Timor and Indonesia

What should Haitians know about the international responses to the humanitarian disasters in Timor-Leste and Indonesia? What can they learn about ensuring the international responses serve their needs and wishes? What lessons can be learned from the international responses to the destruction in 1999, the tsunami in Aceh, various earthquakes and volcanic eruptions throughout Indonesia?

Post your thoughts as responses as comments.

Banda Aceh mosque remains standing after tsunami devastates Aceh in 2004. AP Photo


  1. Haitian government would be wise to ask the UN,its agencies and the international NGO`s to depart immediatly,then request they send them 25% of the money they know will be wasted on Blah,Blah,Blah meetings and for the so called academic experts to further theorise but achieve little and let us determine our future,yes we will make mistakes but doesn`t everyone and then we will learn from them.

  2. graham has a point but it is unlikely to happen, whu not get the international community to spend less on themselves and more of the money actually in Haiti..... see for an idea.

  3. On a journalism website,photo-journalist John Le Ferve recommends that most journalists and "small & medium NGOs (generally denominational in nature) & the adoption agencies that rapidly race in to steal the children for well-heeled US (mostly) clients," stay home for now.

    He warns of hyper inflation: "as all of these compete for the best locations to set up their [big media, UN and large NGOs] operations. ....I remember paying $5 for dried instant noodles in East Timor in 1999, $100 per night for a dilapidated hotel room with a disgusting bathroom in a mosquito infested part of Zaire during the 1995 Ebola outbreak, $500 a day for a vehicle during the Rwanda genocide for these very reasons."

  4. To John : who is stealing children ?

  5. Firstly, it's a shame previous commentators have not moved on past Timor and Aceh... because the rest of the Humanitarian Community clearly has.

    I would first suggest they visited and and got their heads wrapped around the new globally agreed IASC coordination mechanism and then demanded that this was enacted properly, rather than a USAID led non-multilateral roll out that i fear.

    Perhaps Yogykarta response and now West Java/West Sumatra responses have lessons that can be learned from...

    Good donorship guidelines, sphere etc, all should be demanded by the Haiti government, as these standards are agreed upon, and if the government demands them then they WILL happen

    My advice would be largely ignore the SAR phase as its a lost cause of chaos, focus on the Humanitarian and Early Recovery Phase. Push for livelihoods support as early as possible. Push for an agreed building code and support in enforcement as early as possible and push for T-Shelter rather than tents as early as possible...

    Many many lessons to be learned, but ignore Timor and Aceh... those lessons have been learned lets start from more recent disasters and move productively forward .


    Then I would recommend they demand that the IA