Weak aid system worsened Leyte tragedies - UN-OCHA

by Pia Lee Brago, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 06 2014 10:53 AM | Updated as of Apr 06 2014 06:53 PM

MANILA - The massive calamities suffered by Tacloban City in Leyte and Bangui City in Central African Republic (CAR) last year had been let down by an international aid system that prioritizes reaction over anticipation, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report said.

The OCHA report Saving Lives Today and Tomorrow outlines the disconnect between how aid groups analyze risk and how donors allocate funds.

It also challenges humanitarian and development actors to change the way they operate and aims to kick-start a global dialogue on preventing crises through effective risk management.

The OCHA illustrates the need for such changes by drawing compelling examples from the immense challenges facing Tacloban City and Bangui City.

OCHA said that at first glance, the two circumstances appear to have little in common. “Yet, this changed at the end of 2013 when both cities were affected by massive calamities: Tacloban was flattened by Typhoon Yolanda in early November; and Bangui erupted into violence after months of tension and years of neglect boiled over…Both were classified as ‘L3’ emergencies – the severest rating the UN uses for humanitarian crises.” – With Rhodina Villanueva