Chilean quake, following Haiti emergency, may strain resources of aid agencies

ChileearthquakeA number of aid agencies have expressed concern that ongoing rebuilding efforts in Haiti may affect their ability to respond to last month’s earthquake in Chile. Even before the earthquake, the US Agency for International Development last month alerted some relief groups that government funding for foreign disaster assistance could be affected by the cost of operations in Haiti. ‘A lot of resources have been devoted to Haiti, and there has been a shrinking of the capacity to respond,’ said Farshad Rastegar, head of Los Angeles-based humanitarian agency Relief International. This may particularly affect smaller agencies, such as Relief International, which concentrate on long-term relief efforts such as infrastructure rebuilding. This, as ever, is an underlying concern: that immediate aid will be forthcoming while the shock – and newsworthiness – of the event is still being felt, but that the longer-term effects, which will probably be just as grave, are likely to be neglected once international attention moves elsewhere.

Global Greengrants Fund, which has launched its own Chilean Disaster Recovery Fund, is concerned that some small communities in which it works will be completely bereft of their traditional livelihoods by the disaster, and unable to recover without sustained assistance. Nonprofit Enterprise and Self-sustainability Team (NESsT) has launched a Levantando Chile Fund to support local Chilean non-profit organizations that are channelling assistance to communities on the ground. The fund will support both immediate assistance and long-term reconstruction efforts in Chile, particularly those operated by organizations with which NESsT habitually works that are working with their communities to rebuild lives and livelihoods.

Next News to read

Pratham wins fifth Kravis Prize

Alliance magazine