Christian Aid warns of social tsunami
Christian Aid has called on the international community to make a long-term commitment to the region hit by the Asian Tsunami, and warned of a 'social tsunami' if action is not taken now.
"Christian Aidís long experience in dealing with disasters, both natural and man-made, shows that the recovery may take at least three years. A long-term commitment is required from the international community to ensure that communities hardest hit by disaster receive proper shelter and sustainable livelihoods" said Andrew Pendleton. Christian Aidís senior policy officer.
"People in the region will experience a ësocial tsunamií if we do not act now. Millions of people in the countries affected will remain trapped in poverty for years to come unless the aid is faster and better. The social tsunami following disasters results in social dislocation and accelerating rates of poverty create surges in crime, disease and domestic violence."
Too often, Christian Aid says, the commitment to help fades as the media spotlight moves on. Money pledged by governments fails to materialise and promises for rehabilitation aid are not kept.
"Money pledged to the Bam earthquake has not been sent, we saw the same phenomena after the floods in Mozambique. We must also ensure that governments do not divert money from ongoing development projects to emergencies," added Andrew Pendleton.
Christian Aid works with local organisations in the region and has seen first-hand the vital role they play in the emergencies. It is considered crucial that community-based organisations are included in discussions about coordination and delivery of aid.
"In the longer-term local organisations must continue to be involved," said Mr Pendleton. "Communities can only recover properly if they are directly involved in the rehabilitation programmes."