Join the New Tactics community for an online conversation on Empowering Communities for Improving Delivery of Short and Long-term Humanitarian Aid from January 29 – February 2, 2018.
After any natural disaster strikes, humanitarian aid is immediately needed to assist hurting communities to rebuild. Vital aid such as food, water and shelter tend to be the most necessary elements of aid, but this can be difficult to distribute when states are unwilling or unable to provide resources for their citizens. For example, Puerto Rico’s recent disaster that has left most of the country without water, power and food, they have felt the weight of not being considered traditional US citizens. Their aid has been little and delayed for weeks. The marginalized groups of Puerto Rico, those who aren’t documented, have felt particularly burdened within the island since they are less likely to receive government aid and are harder to reach preventing timely assistance.
Due to some government’s inability to provide adequate aid, NGOs have been able to fill the void by providing an array of needs to disaster areas globally. Understandably, NGOs cannot provide all basic needs due to a constrained budget depending on people’s generosity and have less power than state’s when delivering humanitarian aid. Although NGOs have been successful by providing both short and long-term solutions, they have run into problems along the way in delivering aid. Communication amongst groups can become chaotic and disorganized when attempting to help different areas affected. Expensive aid in terms of health and medical needs cannot always be provided by NGOs due to lack of funds and expertise. Further, it can be difficult to deliver help to far-reaching communities without proper equipment.
A tool that has found widespread praise is the use of community engagement during natural disasters or conflicts. Requiring organizations to provide information, as well as listening directly to community concerns and needs. This has been one of the ways NGOs have successfully implemented different methods to provide relief.
In this conversation, we seek to explore the ways NGOs have gone about improving deliverance of both long and short-term aid. We hope to discuss the facilitation of effective relief through community engagement and understanding the lasting effects of improper delivery of humanitarian aid.