Governments and Donors Should Take Precautions in Disaster Relief: Experts

Governments and donors are warned to be more careful in distributing disaster relief funds. It has many critical points which are prone to corruption.

‘Where the most money get lost is in the procurement,’ said the Senior Advisor of Transparency International Roslyn Hees in 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Bangkok last night.

The danger of corruption in the procurement of goods is spread over various points, ranging from manipulation of the auction, prequalification provider bias, providing low-quality goods, to price mark-ups. Corruption also threatens the effectiveness and accountability of disaster management in the field of human resources and accounting.

Details of the critical points and how to prevent exposure in the new guidebook published by Transparency International earlier this week, ‘Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Operations.’

Indonesian President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight Staff William P Sabandar said the keys of successful disaster management are strong governments and civil society. He thought the difference in the capacity of local communities made disaster relief in Wasior, Mentawai, and Merapi turned out differently.

‘In Yogyakarta and its surrounding, where Mount Merapi erupted, civil communities have their structure and tools more prepared. It’s different with Wasior, there is no local community infrastructure, and local governments are weak,’ he said.

Sabandar emphasized that in order to prepare for more disasters, governments and donors should give proper capacity building for the local communities.

Last October, three disasters hit Indonesia in a row. Flashflood on October 4th almost erased Wasior in the West Papua. 21 days later, earthquakes and tsunami hit Mentawai Islands, west of Sumatera. Last but not least, Mount Merapi stepped in and took a part as well. It started to erupt on Tuesday (26/10). The death toll has surpassed 700, while tens of thousands are now refugees.

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