Davos Annual Meeting 2010 – Rethinking Humanitarian Assistance

Davos Annual Meeting 2010 – Rethinking Humanitarian Assistance

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Simon Maxwell, Senior Research Associate,
Overseas Development Institute, United Kingdom; Global Agenda Council on Humanitarian Assistance: The Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council
on Humanitarian Assistance – doesn’t that trip off the tongue neatly? We’re going
to talk about Haiti today, but we’re also going to contextualize Haiti and ask the question:
how do we stop another Haiti happening? Compare Haiti with the Chinese earthquake of a few
years ago and the difference in the level of damage but also the government response,
the dependence on outside assistance. In the work that we’ve been doing on the Global Agenda
Council, we’ve actually summarized our whole problem as being how do we have fewer Haitis
and more Chinas. If we’re going to have natural disasters at all, we need somehow or other
to increase preparedness and have more practice and more stocks and better systems and better
structures so that, when earthquakes happen, as they will, we don’t have the level of devastation
and pain that we’ve seen in Haiti. We want to use this session to look at that
question, to look at the partnerships that can be built between the private and the public
sectors, and then to move forward proactively to talk a little bit about actions that we
might take together to build the capacity in developing countries that will make the
next Haiti less likely. And there’s a session in the IdeasLab this afternoon at which we’ll
be talking about the recommendations of the Global Agenda Council, so it would be great
if you came to that. You’ll find a copy of the report of the Council and our two-page
summary for this Davos on the table outside. And if anybody would like to be involved or
would like more information, Olivia Bessat, who is standing at the back – and wave,
Olivia – is the person to talk to or, of course, to me. And we’d be really delighted
to have more help and participation. The panel we have today brings a huge amount
of experience, some of it of Haiti, some less directly, but all of it absolutely essential
to this issue. Catherine Bragg is on my left. She is the Deputy UN Coordinator for Humanitarian
Affairs and is standing in for Sir John Holmes, who is very tied up. But, Catherine, I heard
you speak yesterday. You have absolutely up-to-date information and a very broad vision on this.
We’re really delighted you’re here. Nicolas Mariscal Torroella is Chairman of the Board
of the Grupo Marhnos in Mexico and is in the construction sector and absolutely understands
how to make sure that we have stronger buildings and better codes and better institutions to
support those codes. He’ll talk about that. Madam Sadako Ogata, of course, former UN High
Commissioner for Refugees and currently President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency,
a titan amongst those of us who work in development and an icon and somebody who will bring a
great deal also of practical experience. Cameron Sinclair, Co-founder and Executive Director
of Architecture for Humanity, a Young Global Leader, again, very involved in how architects
and engineers and planners can be mobilized to deal with these emergencies. And we’re
hoping to be joined by Dame Barbara Stocking, who is Chief Executive of Oxfam GB. My expectation is that the experience on the
panel is matched by the experience in the room. So let me just ask you, first of all,
just so that we know who is here. If you’re in this development humanitarian world from
either the agencies or from the NGOs, please put up your hand. If you’re from the private
sector, please put up your hand. Right, we know where the target is outside the room
in that case. And the rest of you are either too modest to declare your interest or we
will sign you up as supporters later. Let me quickly start by asking the panel not to
give us a speech, please, but just to give us a maximum two minutes on these key questions:
what do we learn? What do we take away to make sure that we don’t have more Haitis?
How do we involve the private sector? Let me start with you, Catherine, please. Catherine Bragg, Deputy Coordinator for Humanitarian
Affairs, United Nations, Canada: I think it’s too early to have lessons learned
from Haiti, you know. We’re only two weeks into this, but we certainly have learned a
lot of lessons from the tsunami, the Pakistan earthquake, the Myanmar cyclone, etc. The
main things we have learned from the humanitarian response point of view is that we’ve got to
get organized. We’ve got to be coordinated. And in the last five years, we’ve made a lot
of changes in terms of how we actually organize ourselves. I won’t bore you guys into the
technical jargon of things like clusters. We have also, I think, in the last five years
really evolved our thinking in terms of involvement of the military as first responder as well
as our thinking in terms of the private sector, not just as the private sector having a lot
of money, ‘They have it. We don’t. We want some of it,’ not from that kind of thinking,
but in understanding that there are things they do better than anybody else within the
activities that need to take place in humanitarian response, such as, the obvious example, telecommunications.
NGOs can’t do it well. Governments can’t do it well. Multilateral organizations can’t
do it well. The private sector does that much better than anybody else. There are things they do more efficiently,
such as airport handling. DHL at the moment is in Dominican Republic helping with the
airport handling for the Haitian response, because they are very efficient at that sort
of thing. So we’re now revising our mentality as to how we actually work with both the private
sector and the military. Ten years ago, we used to think of them as the bad guys. Now
we think of them very differently. So I think we’ve learned a lot of lessons in the last
five years from the major disasters. You had a lot of other – yes. Maxwell: If you’d been starting in Haiti ten
years ago, and you’d known there might be an earthquake in the future, what are the
two or three things that you would have absolutely insisted on in your conversations with the
agencies and with the government? Bragg: Where I would start is this actually
– this disaster is the first mega humanitarian crisis in an urban setting. We have never
seen something like this in an urban setting before. Urbanization is actually what is characterizing
this particular response, and the last ten years of urbanization into Port-au-Prince
with the earthquake is how we have the catastrophic dimension that we have today. So I think dealing
with urbanization is very, very important, and we’re going to see more of this, because
with climate change we know the compounding effect of increasing urbanization and the
climate change is where we’re going to have more and more of the Port-au-Prince situation,
and I think that that needs to be stressed. Maxwell: Very good. Barbara, hello. Barbara Stocking, Chief Executive, Oxfam GB,
United Kingdom: Good morning, sorry. Maxwell: In absence, we’re delighted to see
you here. We’re just running along the panel, two minutes each, key lessons and key things
to take forward from Haiti. Nicolas, Mexico has lots of earthquakes but doesn’t seem to
have this level of devastation. So you’re doing something different, I guess. Nicolas Mariscal Torroella, Chairman of the
Board, Grupo Marhnos, Mexico: Good morning. Thank you for being here. I’m
glad this morning. I would like to share with you where I’m coming from. I’m coming from
the private sector. I’ve been involved for more than 40 years. I’m coming from the construction
and engineering field. I would like to share with you, coming from a family company, more
than five generations, but to share with you. I got involved with this, because with the
DRN that’s an initiative that started here in Davos in 2001 when it was an earthquake
in India in Gujarat. And we started there with engineers and construction and something
called DRN. Now it’s called Disaster Resource Partnership. What we’re doing now in Mexico – Mexico,
as you know, it’s a place where we have many, many earthquakes. But just to tell you very
briefly what are we doing in Mexico, in Mexico we got involved in something. It’s called
United For Them. United For Them, it’s Unidos por Ellos. It’s a group of more than 200 companies
in the private sector, and what we’re doing, the way that we work, it’s in a public-private
partnership. And right now, we’re working in Haiti too, and we were able to get involved.
I hope that some of these ideas will work in other places in the world. One of the –
we work like the petals, and each petal of the flowers in which we are involved are,
for example, the universities. The universities are a great place to work in. They have the
humanitarian side for volunteers. So what we’re doing now in Haiti, and also
we have done it in the past, we work very close in relation, because one of the first
things we have to do is get involved, our people in our companies, and the way we do
it is by matching funds. We have to get involved from the highest level in the company to the
lowest level, so we started with the employers and the general managers and so forth with
matching funds. And then the other thing very important is to be a corporate social responsible
company. We have to work with the communities where we work. So in the construction industry,
I think we have a lot to give to all of the places we’re working, but not just as donors,
to be also givers. We have to be involving to the projects and think in the long term.
That’s what we’re doing right now. And in Mexico, we’ve been working also along with
the civil engineers and also with the construction industry. Thank you. Maxwell: And just to go back to my initial
question, when Mexico has an earthquake, you don’t have the level of devastation. What’s
the difference? Torroella: Well, the difference, I think,
it’s the point of view of being prepared now, especially for the seismic side. We have been
working along for many, many years, along with the civil engineering schools, and the
way we’ve designed the construction, the buildings themselves. I think that’s the reason, I think,
we’ve been able to come along all of these disasters that have happened. Maxwell: Very good. You just were saying,
by the way, that when Josette Sheeran was on this platform yesterday, she talked –
she was showing the various high-density foods that are being distributed in Haiti, and some
of them come from factories in Mexico which are scaling up. So there’s also a very interesting
regional dimension to this Haiti response that we might want to come back to. Ms Ogata? Sadako Ogata, President, Japan International
Cooperation Agency, Japan: Thank you very much. I’m Sadako Ogata. I was
for ten years United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and in that capacity I did deal
with a lot of Haitians leaving the country by boat and with the American government –
Mr Clinton was there – trying to stop the Haitians from all arriving in Miami, and
they were interdicted and had to go to Cuba, and we had to go and help try to figure out
who deserves being taken in and who deserves to be sent back. That kind of thing, I know,
Haiti from a humanitarian crisis point of view. Now, the question is, after that, I am currently
President of Japan International Cooperation Agency, which is a development agency from
technical assistance to Yen loans and so on. The big difference between humanitarian assistance
and development assistance to me – in development assistance, you do have to
deal with emergency. You look at people. You look at speed in order to alleviate the suffering,
humanitarian crisis and suffering. But development agencies try to deal – have to deal
with the government and the state trying to bring the whole state and society, society
and state, into a much more developing phase. So in essence, the timing concept is different,
and the purpose at the end may converge, but it’s different. And while I was High Commissioner for Refugees,
I looked at the development agencies saying, ‘So slow! Why can’t you come in much more
quickly and get your development work moving quickly?’ And then I realized that there is
such a thing as a state. A development agency cannot disregard the state and just start
building the country. Humanitarian to a certain extent can override that and try to deal with
the people suffering right away. So there is that difference in speed and the basic
responsibility, but I think today the two are getting closer, and the humanitarian coming
in and also bringing in the development at an earlier stage to – this is called
peace-building efforts and so on. I think there’s more of that. So in that sense, I
think there’s more hope for the part when you look at the situation of the people suffering.
I think they don’t care whether it’s humanitarian or development so long as they are met –
their needs are met at the right time and the right way. So that’s my overall. But you
want me to say something about Haiti? No? Later. Maxwell: Please, why don’t you say something? Ogata: All right. Haiti is – and I
do have – I’m responsible for emergency medical teams and some emergency relief teams.
And with Haiti, it was the fourth day when my 20 medical teams arrived, and it was considered
very slow. Now, with China, the relationship – and China is a very important sovereign
state. Whether they would accept all of the emergency relief work, we were not sure. But
they did, and we did a very, very big job in Sichuan and that huge earthquake crisis. Japan is an earthquake country, and it’s a
country that almost every day there are small earthquakes. But we do have teams now quite
well organized to do international work. But what these can do in one place is different
from what it can do in another place, depending on the receptivity of the state, depending
on how much access is possible. For Japan to get to Haiti was not easy, because it’s
very – we had to go to Miami, where we do have some storages, to get there first,
and then another plane to go from Miami on to Port-au-Prince and so on. So those are all sorts of differences, but
the one big difference is that Haiti as a state was not a strong one. China as a state
is very, very strong. So how do you work out this emergency assistance, humanitarian assistance?
It depends a little bit on the state’s situation and the relations between states. Maxwell: We had pictures cycling as we came
into the room of the devastation in Haiti. And as you’ve rightly said, the government
was decapitated in many ways, and yet we all talk about building back better and building
development into relief. Do you think it’s feasible? And this is also going to be a question
for the last two speakers. In that kind of devastation, are we just dreaming if we talk
about trying to do long-term development? Ogata: Just for Haiti. The emergency medical
teams from my offices will be leaving, and then there’s the Self Defence Forces sending
a bigger team to do emergency medical and so on. But I am already sending a team of
experts of development assistance, and they should be arriving in the next few days. But
the question is: what do you do? Water supply? The setup of rebuilding schools and houses?
The assessment team will be going and first figure out at what stage and according to
what needs we can really help the country rebuild, so it’s a slower, different process. Maxwell: Cameron, I know what the right answer
to my question is, but it’s a difficult answer, isn’t it? Why don’t you talk a little bit
about how you would deal with that problem? Cameron Sinclair, Co-founder and Executive
Director, Architecture for Humanity, United Kingdom: Well, what’s interesting about the development
world – so our organization is what’s kind of being known as a tugboat NGO. There
is – when you look at development, there’s different sizes of agencies. And you
know, in the past there was almost competing forces. But I think in recent disasters –
and certainly our organization represents about 40,000 building professionals in a hundred
countries, and we have chapters in 70 cities. All of our work is open source, so we collaborate
and work together and not only share best practices but worst practices, and I think
that’s another problem in the NGO industry is we’re not willing to openly admit our failures,
and as a result the financial burden of that. One of the things that we’ve been doing, and
we put out a reconstruction plan about a week ago really as a way to kind of stop people
flying in from all over the world, you know, with their suitcases and their hearts on their
sleeves, you know, to come and help, because they really do hinder that first response
effort. And you know, many of us that are in that long-term reconstruction, you know,
our time period is more like four months to four years, you know. And if we’re not willing
to commit to that and commit to the community, then I don’t think that it is – we’re
going to make an impactful response that not only responds to this disaster, but let’s
just remember that this is an earthquake. This is an earthquake with a hurricane about
to happen in four months, and the current plan is to put 400,000 people in tents, right?
I’m not seeing the numbers of dead and displaced right now. I’m seeing it post-hurricane season.
And so that, when we’re looking at preparedness, we have to look at the risk levels –
Haiti is in a high, high risk area – and to having partners on the ground and including
them in that process. So, you know, for instance, we’ve been doing a coalition building amongst
the Young Global Leaders. As it turns out, as we began talking to each other, at least,
you know, two dozen of us were already on the ground in Haiti for many years, and many
of us had Haitian partners that we had been on the phone and using Skype every single
day to communicate their needs and how we can respond. So, you know, we’re a tugboat, and what I
mean by that is – I’m not going to offend Oxfam, because actually in Sri Lanka,
Oxfam took the lead on – they had an architect working for them, Sandra D’Urzo,
who looked at the coordination and the collaboration between all of us and was instrumental in
pushing that forward and making sure every week that we weren’t putting all our resources
in one area and neglecting others. And so I see them as like they’re the oil tanker,
right? They go from A to B, and they get it done. And what we can do is all of these young,
kind of young, nimble organizations can collaborate with them to make sure that we implement building
codes that are not only looking at this disaster but looking at what Haiti looks like in 50
years coupled with climate change issues, coupled with resource issues, and implementing
a more localized response that incorporates the real experts which are the Haitians, right,
and the fact that there are professionals on the ground who are actively working and
social entrepreneurs who are looking to find ways to activate a job base out the rebuilding
and reconstruction era. So I think we have to look at the large aid response. We have
to look at supporting local innovation and the ways that we can collaborate and make
sure that we’re not running roughshod and being perceived as kind of not listening to
the local community. Maxwell: All right. I think we’re going to
spend the next 40 minutes talking about navel analogies for NGOs. But in the meantime, it’s
one thing to say, ‘Oh, my God. They’re in tents, and there’s going to be a hurricane.’
But at the moment, they’re either not in anything or they’re under a plastic sheet. So are you
saying to people, ‘Don’t send tents, because actually they’re not good enough’? Surely
not. Sinclair: No, what I’m saying is that, when
we’re doing transition – like an anchor in these communities – this is FEMA
screwed up. I mean, if you want to look at a disaster that is very similar, look at the
reaction to Hurricane Katrina, because it was an unbelievable disaster based on the
kind of ideas of, ‘Let’s put people all in, you know, metal boxes, and they’ll be fine
when the hurricanes come through.’ That was not the case. What you have is you have these
anchor nodes – schools, health clinics, community centres – making sure that
they’re all hurricane-resistant structures, and they’re disaster recovery centres just
in case this happens. They’re shelters. I mean, the irony, the sad, sad irony is we’ve
spent the last two years working with local NGOs to do youth sports facilities that doubled
as disaster recovery centres just in case of a large-scale disaster. We were going to
start construction this year. So just imagine what the news reports were like for us when
we had the plans; we’re ready to roll. They’re seismically sound buildings, but, you know,
we’re too late. Maxwell: Okay, we’ll come back to that, I’m
sure. I think of Oxfam as being a flotilla of tugs, actually. Stocking: That’s right, yes. Maxwell: With all of the innovation and speed
at your – Stocking: Yes, we want to be young and nimble
as well. Maxwell: Exactly. Stocking: But, anyway, your description of
coordination was absolutely perfect. I mean, that is the way it should be and how we’re
trying to work. I was just going to make a couple of comments – one on quickly
the general lessons, but then I was going to talk about the role of the private sector
and what we’ve learned in the last few years. On the general lessons, I think they’ve all
sort of been mentioned, but I think it’s worth adding them up. I mean, clearly, we’ve learned
in the last few years you really have to go for preparedness, disaster risk reduction.
Sadly, in Haiti, a lot of us were doing it, but it absolutely overwhelmed what we were
doing. But we will still be able to pick that up, because you’ve got – you know,
we’ve got loads of youth brigades digging latrines at the moment. That’s what they’re
doing. So, you know, we didn’t have to start from scratch at least. There’s clearly the building back better,
and I do think you can do that. Actually, they proved that that was the case whether
it was shelter, or people’s livelihoods, economic development. It is completely different there
now. Involving the Haitian people and the Haitian government, yes, I think it’s doable.
It’s going to be difficult with the government, but that’s where I think the UN comes in and
can work alongside in rebuilding ministries. So there are lots of lessons that we know.
Now, the role of the private sector and lessons there – for us, the issue on the private
sector and the right and the immediate response time is, if you don’t already have a partnership,
it’s not the best time to form one. If the company isn’t already in that country, it’s
not a great time to start. We’ve had some very good partnerships actually
with the private sector. I mean, even in the last week, you know, British Airways has been
flying out all our water kits out very helpfully. But more specifically on the ground, I can
think of actually Unilever with the Pakistan IDPs, and I think in Sri Lanka too, providing
non-food items and providing logistics to get them there. But that was because we knew
Unilever, but Unilever also knew the country. So my lesson is, if you’re not there, don’t
start now. But the real time for the private sector to
come in, in these disasters, is in the recovery phase. That’s really when, you know, the private
sector can really help and really take off. But, again, it’s got to do it in the right
way of linking with the local governments, local people, and from our point of view,
making sure that what’s done is done for the poorest of the people, that the schools are
put in the right places for the poorest, that there is real listening to what really needs
to happen. There’s also good practice about, say, in
construction not bringing your own workers in but using local staff, and not just using
them as workers but skilling them up, leaving something behind that, you know, the building
back better. And perhaps most importantly for us, because in most of these poor countries
agriculture is still the basis of the economy. It is actually helping rebuild agriculture.
And again, we’ve seen that with companies in Sri Lanka with the displaced people there
and people returning. A company there called Plenty Foods that we work with actually provided
food, seeds, and technical support to the people going back to their homes to help them
really get started in agriculture, and actually we need to get agriculture going again in
Haiti. So there’s plenty of scope for what the private
sector can do, but I think it’s often about holding that wonderful heartfelt empathy just
for a moment and thinking through in the business sense about, okay, what can we really do.
And then how can – if we’re not there, how can we really partner with people who
are deeply in and on the ground so that, when we apply those things that we’ve got –
skills, logistics systems, whatever it is we’ve got – do it in a way that adds
into this whole coordinated system that will be trying to deliver and run through in the
next few years? Because this is, as we all know, this is – I mean, ten years was
talked about at the conference on Monday. But it’s ten years when actually this could
make a huge and superb difference to Haiti. And I keep looking at Aceh, and it’s unbelievable
what’s happened there. Absolute horrors at the beginning, remember, on that December
26. But going there now, it is really a truly different place, and many people have got
out of poverty as a result. Maxwell: We’ll come back to that. Josette
Sheeran yesterday said something like there were 12,000 NGOs working in the aftermath
of the tsunami and was just expressing caution about tugboat overload, we might call it.
Do you have a view on that and how it can be managed? Stocking: Well, I do actually. I think it’s
back to we’ve got to get better organized in advance with countries, and actually it’s
something that the Red Cross has been doing – is trying to do about it’s not as
much about keeping people out quite as actually assisting those who really can help quickly
and urgently by having some of the legal agreements about what can get through customs and so
on and having particular agencies, I mean, a number of them, but really signed off so
that they can really get on and get the work done quickly. Maxwell: Just one second, Cameron. Can you
give me a second, please? We’re going to come back to the cluster system which you mentioned
in passing which is really about coordination. I just want to bring everybody else in for
a second first. Cameron, forgive me, I’ll come back to you. Sinclair: Okay. Maxwell: Just to say to you that, if you didn’t
pick it up on the way in, do pick it up on the way out. The paper produced by the Global
Agenda Council covers a lot of these themes and the two pages. But also, I wanted to point
you to the joint guidelines published by the World Economic Forum and the UN, Guiding Principles
for Public-Private Collaboration for Humanitarian Action. And you’ll find in there a lot of
the points that are being made about the importance of building on preparedness, about listening
to people, about building for reconstruction, and I know that Bill Clinton is giving a session
with Klaus Schwab, I think, later on this morning which is calling for private-sector
involvement, not so much in the relief phase, but in building the supply chains and getting
livelihoods up and running. Cameron, do you want to comment very quickly before I go to
the rest of the participants? Sinclair: Well, I do want to kind of come
in with this – see, it’s not the tugboats; it’s more like the dinghies which is kind
of the – we used to call them suitcase NGOs, because they literally would show up
with $50,000 in a briefcase and say, ‘What can I do to help?’ which caused massive problems.
The thing about collaborating is what happens in a disaster is you have a really great organization
on the ground that deals with one or two specific things. So certainly, in India, we were working
with LEED whose focus was on women’s and girls’ empowerment as well as health and human services. But because they were really mobilized, they
found themselves starting to do everything else, and so the mission creep of existing
NGOs needs to be kind of put in check, because you end up doing everything. And with NGOs
being kind of collaborative and working together, you can say, ‘Look, this is what we do, and
that’s it. That’s all we’re going to do, you know. We provide architecture and construction
services. We’re not going to go into the healthcare business.’ So I think you’re right. We worry
about a lot of NGOs coming in. But if there’s kind of a database system that we can all
connect, and we figure out, look, I’m in Jacmel, and I need design services, there’s going
to be someone there. The problem is when we’re all running around with our heads cut off. Maxwell: Anybody who wants to come and see
me with a suitcase with $50,000? I’ll leave you my business card. Say something about
clusters, because that’s all about coordination, isn’t it? Bragg: Yes, okay, just on back to your point
about 1,200 NGOs and the tsunami response, in Haiti at the moment there’s about 500.
So just by that alone, I think we’ve organized ourselves a lot better, you know, in the last
five years. And in the last five years, what we, the international humanitarian community,
has done is to organize itself around an architecture called the clusters. It’s just jargon. But
basically, it’s those people who work in a similar set of activities should come together
in the cluster to do the planning together, to do your fundraising together, to plan out
what you’re going to do together, and then you then link up together to form a whole
humanitarian country team. At this point in Haiti, there are 12 clusters
activated in Haiti. And you know, just to name a few, the health clusters – all
of the agencies working in the health area would get together – shelter, protection,
etc. So that’s the way we have been organizing ourselves, and, in fact, this is one time
where we’ve really seen a lot of value out of this. I mean, we’ve seen it in previous
disasters since tsunami, since we have wrote out the cluster system. But this time one
particular value that we have seen is, during the tsunami, everybody came out of the woodwork
and say, ‘I want to help.’ So you have got, say, pharmaceutical companies coming and saying,
you know, like, ‘We want to donate drugs.’ You have telecommunications companies come
and saying, you know, ‘I want to donate these kind of services,’ whatever. There was no
way five years ago for us to sort all of that out, and most of it actually didn’t take –
it didn’t get taken up largely, because we had no way of engaging. Now, when that happens, the first thing we
say to them is, ‘Medical supplies? This is the health cluster. The lead agency is WHO.
The contact number is this. It’s this person. You talk to that person first to see if –
what the cluster has indicated as the health need of the population at the moment and what
sort of medical supplies is in need at the moment and what’s not needed. If we can have
a match, that will be great.’ So that in itself has been a huge improvement, and we have actually
put a lot of order into just all of these at the moment ad hoc contributions that during
the tsunami just flooded us, and we just didn’t know how to deal with it. Maxwell: Very good. There are lots of things
we all agree on, you know. Haiti is terrible. We must respond. We need cash. We need to
rebuild livelihoods. We need to work together. We need to build back better. I want to hear
from you what you’ve heard that you disagree with and what you’ve heard – what you
haven’t heard that’s missing in this conversation. And here are the rules of engagement: I’m
going to take as many of you as I can. Stand up. Say who you are. Say something interesting.
Don’t ask a question. Say something, and sit down again. And try and get 10, 15, 20 people
participating. So catch my eye. But we’ll start over here. Participant: My name is Paul S. I’m a physician
and an epidemiologist. I used to be with the CDC, and I’ve done a lot of disaster response
with the CDC, Red Cross, IFRC, and IRC, and I responded to the tsunami among other things.
So as a physician in the tsunami, I was shocked by the number of deaths, the number of dead
bodies. As an epidemiologist, I was shocked by the fact that no one was really measuring
anything. So we’ve talked, for example, about how some responses are better, like China
is better, this is better. But what I want to know is exactly in what
way are we saying it’s better since we’re not measuring any – we’re not defining
metrics like what percentage of people at six months, twelve months, etc., have homes,
permanent homes? We’re not defining – in the tsunami, no one had any idea, and no
one still has any idea what the total number of deaths were, event that gross measure.
No one has any idea what percentage of people in the tsunami died in the event, meaning
in the two hours or three hours of the event, and what percentage died in the next day,
and in the week after, etc. These are important metrics to determine how well we’re doing. Maxwell: I understand. Tell me this, I mean,
two things: what do we have to do, and would you write it down and send it to us? And we
can circulate it and make it available to all of those interested. Participant: Well, you know, in epidemiology,
and I’m told in business, we say, ‘What matters gets measured.’ So I think what we have to
do is, one, decide we want to measure things, decide what those things are, and then assign
in advance the people, the money, the materials that will be focused on exactly measuring
that. Now keeping in mind that one of the reasons that we don’t measure things is because
many times people don’t want their – they don’t want to be evaluated, at least
not on a – in that kind of a way, I think you have to make it some sort of independent
body. Maxwell: Okay, we’re going to come back and
ask you whether you agree with these suggestions. Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive of Save
the Children? Dr Abdullah, I hope you’ll say something a bit later on about this kind of
issue in Afghanistan also. Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive, Save the
Children, United Kingdom: Hi, thank you. Just building on the last comment,
I think, yes, measuring, but also standards. What is – you know, compared to what?
What is good? What does good look like? And there are a set of standards in humanitarian
response called the Sphere Humanitarian Standards, which a lot of you know about, but I think
perhaps we haven’t shared more widely beyond the sector. But also, they tend to –
they came out of long-term chronic emergencies, and perhaps those need to be expanded to cope
with actually adding in, you know, what’s the timeframes that are expected. Of course,
every situation is different. I think, you know, you’d have to bear that in mind. But also, thinking about, I mean, what’s really
come out in Haiti and often comes out in these sudden emergencies is what happens to children
and this whole very hot topic about, you know, I see a lovely kid on the TV. And you know,
there’s lots of talk in the UK, at least, and I think in the States as well, about scooping
these children up and taking them away and looking after them. And we, you know, we know
from years of experience what the right thing to do is, which, of course, is to try and
reunite those children as quickly as possible with their families. But instead of –
as Barbara was saying, when you try to have these debates in the heat of the moment, it’s
almost impossible. So setting standards about what good practice is ahead of the time –
these things happen all the time – I think, would help move us on. Maxwell: How do you react, Jasmine, to the
television narrative in the UK at least which is we all failed, you know, because we weren’t
there feeding 2 million people in 24 hours? Whitbread: Yes, I think the trouble is the
media always wants an angle. I actually saw Mark Thompson, the head of the BBC, the other
day, and he said – you know, off the record, he said, you know, ‘I think we’ve
been a bit, a bit – ‘ Maxwell: This meeting is on the record. Whitbread: Well, he wouldn’t mind me saying
this, but he said in an informal – you know, an informal situation is what I
mean by off the record. He said, you know, ‘Well, perhaps we’ve been too critical. We,
being the journalists, have been too critical,’ because exactly the point about compared to
what. We say it’s day five, and aid is still not flowing through. But, you know, and then
I said, ‘Well, yes, and there was a little bit of snow in London the other day, and not
much got through at all.’ So, you know, what are our standards? What do we expect? So I
think the media, you know, would also benefit from that discussion on standards. Maxwell: Standards and timelines, yes. Nigel Chapman, Chief Executive Officer, Plan
International, United Kingdom: Hi, I’m Nigel Chapman, the CEO of Plan International.
We’ve been working in Haiti for some 30 years, so we’re not a tugboat NGO. I also used to
be Director of the World Service, and can I just say I agree with you. I think some
of the media coverage has been too harsh. It hasn’t taken into account the really, really
difficult circumstances the people are facing. But I just wanted to move us on to the issue
of children, not so much the issue of adoption or not, which has been much debated, and I
agree with you about that, but also about the long-term effect on children. And I haven’t
heard a lot of talk about how we’re going to deal with that, the traumatic long-term
effect, not just in terms of the buildings and the schools, which is a physical issue,
but the mental impact on the children and the people and their parents. And that’s a
really big issue, I think, and one that we have to work very hard at. The other thing I’d say, finally, is this
allusion you talked about between being a humanitarian agency and a disaster agency.
The reason why there’s an allusion is, because if you work in a place for 30 years, you have
obligations to those people. You can’t just turn around to the people you’ve been working
with for 30 years and say, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t really help you when there’s a disaster. I
only help you when it’s relatively tranquil here, and I’ll build you the school, or supply
you the teacher, or work with you to develop the educational standards.’ It’s not good
enough. And that’s why the two have got to come together, and I really heartedly endorse
the point you make. Maxwell: Do the NGOs have any problem with
the military being so heavily involved in this? Actually, it’s been fascinating, because
in the UK papers there’s been a whole debate about Afghanistan where the NGOs issued a
report this week saying the military are far too involved in handing out services to people
in Afghanistan. Do either of you want to comment on that as the microphone is in your vicinity? Whitbread: I think in a way it’s similar to
what we’ve been talking about here in terms of different, you know, the government, private
sector, and NGOs, large, small, all having their areas of expertise. And the military
do military operations really well. And you know, when you’ve had a great big disaster
like in Haiti or in Pakistan, for example, in the Pakistan the government did a great
job in terms of using the military for what the military was good at but drawing the line
and not getting into that allusion and feeling that, you know, the military is the right
body to be handing out aid, which then turns aid into – which should be impartial
and, you know, given on the basis of need. The danger with the military getting involved
is, by definition, that no longer will be perceived to be the case, and it will be politicized,
which in turn becomes hugely why there’s such a big focus on Afghanistan at the moment.
It’s hugely dangerous for the NGOs and the local population, who then get all classed
together in the same optic of the local population along with the military. Maxwell: Good, thanks. I’m working my way
to the front, but I want to call Abdullah Abdullah before I come to you, former Foreign
Minister of Afghanistan, presidential candidate, of course, somebody you know who is about
the difficulty of state-building in the context of a large relief and humanitarian effort. Abdullah Abdullah, former Minister of Foreign
Affairs and presidential candidate, Afghanistan: Thank you. And in fact, in 1999, there was
a big earthquake in Afghanistan in Northern Afghanistan, and I arrived there two days
after it had happened, but that’s just to give you an example. The estimate of the number
of deaths at that time was around 5,000, but I was in London when I heard that there was
an earthquake. The first thing that I do, I did – I went to BBC and had an interview.
But at the same time, there was a member of NGO which was in another part of Afghanistan,
a very famous NGO, and she challenged what I said and said that they’re exaggerating
these numbers in order to get more support. We don’t know. She was in the furthest part
of Afghanistan and challenged what was – what had happened right from the spot. But anyway, I got to where I went, and there
the local population from the surrounding areas were the first to arrive there, the
first people to arrive there, and with bread on the back of donkeys with a little bit,
some quilt, something. So they were the first people to be able to respond to that, and
ironically – and also, there was – I took a group of journalists with me, because
there were no aid workers, and we crossed the Oxus River on the barges and went there.
And Allan Little did an interview, and he said that, ‘We are all here, journalists.
Where are aid workers?’ Yes? And the same aid worker which had done an interview arrived
three days later and asking me for a shelter in that area. So sometimes listening to the locals will
help better, and the problem which we were facing at that time that NGOs, which were
working for Afghanistan, they were based in Pakistan. And this area was isolated, because
it was on the frontline. The other side was Taliban, and Taliban was not allowing anything
to cross. So that was a very complex situation that we are faced with. And then we didn’t
know. One day they said that there are overflies, and then they dropped something from the air,
and it had very little for the causalities on the ground, because – so listening
to the locals and using the local knowledge and what’s available there and being prepared
for that, that will make a big change, I think. Maxwell: I’m going to take just about two
more very good ones, and then we need to make sure we come back to the panel, and then I’m
going to ask you to vote on a couple of things towards the end of the session. Please? Jared Genser, Partner, DLA Piper LLP; President,
Freedom Now, USA: Yes, my name is Jared Genser. One issue that
hasn’t been raised yet relates to the legal foundation that needs to be laid in Haiti
to rebuild it actually effectively. My law firm is committed to doing a fair amount of
pro bono legal work over the next couple of years to assist the UN and the government
of Haiti, and we need to figure out how that would most effectively work. But when you
look at issues like land tenure, you have this entire country destroyed and probably
most of the land records buried under piles of rubble, right. How do you decide who’s able to live where?
I mean, before you start reconstructing houses, you need to figure that out. What kind of
building codes do you need for not just the Haiti of today, but as Cameron said, the Haiti
of 50 years from now? How do you have structure in place that properly attracts foreign investment?
How do you deal with environmental laws? All of this stuff, if you don’t get it right up
front, it’s going to be a major problem down the road, and you also have a political dynamic,
which hasn’t been mentioned yet, as well, which has to do with the fact that we’ve got
upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections in Haiti. And how do you in that context deal
with the Haitian government having to change a host of these different kinds of laws to
address them? Maxwell: We’re going to do two more quick
ones. Yes, please, you first and then we’ll go to you. Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer,
Mercy Corps, USA: I’m Neal Keny-Guyer of Mercy Corps. Two days
ago, I was in Haiti. But I would just want to make a couple of very quick points to reinforce
what Dr Ghani said. I mean, there’s two principles we know for sure which is that those most
impacted are always the best agents of their own recovery. And despite all of the rhetoric
of the aid community, and Mercy Corps is right there, we sometimes don’t practise that as
fully as we can. I mean, the first aid responders here were the Haitian peoples themselves before
the aid community got organized, you know. They were helping each other. The first thing
that recovered and started were street vendors who were all out to represent local markets,
and that’s the second principle that, to the degree that you can restore local markets,
then you have a much faster recovery, and the quality tends to be much higher. So I get a little worried when I hear about
all of the sanitation kits, all of the things and materials that are being assembled to
be distributed that are going to flood into local markets right now. It is a traumatized
situation, but that’s something we have to be extremely careful about. Then the final
point is just don’t underestimate the challenges of standing up the Haitian government right
now. It’s been virtually incapacitated. But we’re already at the stage where, you know,
the decisions being made in terms of aid have political implications. The international
community cannot take those prudently or wisely or sustainably without the real engagement
of the Haitian government. Annie Sparrow, Coordinator, UNICEF Somalia,
Kenya: Hi, I’m Annie Sparrow. I now work for UNICEF
Somalia, and I used to be involved in a lot of emergencies, and we – I wanted to
just raise – and I’m sorry if it’s already been addressed, because I was ten
minutes late, but the whole issue of cash in emergencies, because so often, when I used
to deal with emergencies, and I remember vividly in East Timor, we make all of these decisions
about the provision of food. And WFP came in with bags and bags of corn, and nobody
had any idea how to eat corn, so they fed it all straight to the pigs. And a lot of
what we were doing was just damage control, because we didn’t actually – and we
still don’t, and I know that sounds very, you know, the benefit of hindsight, etc. But
we would give out all of the NFI, all of the non-food items, and then you would find that
people would sell them, because actually the most important thing was to go and actually
bury your dead with dignity. So – and this made me think very hard,
because at the time I was living in Kenya, and we were all – you know, we all
have staff responsible. We have to give them food bags every month. And I went out to East
Timor, and we were having these arguments about whether to give them cash, so they can
bury their dead, or whether we should give them food, or whether they can just –
you know, give them the cash, and they can buy the food, because they know how to get
it better than we do, and they can access it better. And then we won’t have these horrible
truck and chuck efforts, which is so humiliating, and we can, you know, have to think of ways
where they can address and overcome their humiliation and shame of not being able to
bury your dead decently. And I just wanted to, you know, throw that piece out there,
because that’s not been satisfactorily resolved how we deal with cash in emergencies. Maxwell: Do you think that there should be
– I mean, this is a very difficult area, because it’s quite hard to see how you
could have fed a large urban population in Port-au-Prince without bringing in, you know,
ready-to-eat meals and biscuits from Mexico and outside food supplies. How do we then
– I mean, is that true? Do you agree with that? And if – I mean, either
way, how do we then rebuild the markets and get the local rural areas in Haiti supplying
the capital city? Sparrow: Yes, I don’t have the answers. I
just see it. And I mean, I’ve swapped now from, you know, emergencies back to development.
And frankly, now I’m going to give up and go back to being a paediatrician. It’s Somalia.
It’s too hard. But it’s that balance, because we make all of these presumptions too, and
it’s true, of course, people need to be fed. They are starving. But at the same time, we prioritize their
level of needs, and we do have the standards. We’ve had Sphere around for years and years
and years. It’s not like Sphere is a new thing. Only in every emergency it seems to get forgotten,
and sometimes you’re just doing damage control, because you have the suitcase NGOs who come
in, and you’re just trying to actually make sure they don’t make the problem worse. And
you know, then you get nations like sending tons and tons of tinned milk, which is just
going to be a disaster. And I’m sorry. I don’t have any, you know – I don’t. It’s
a terrible balance, because, you know, I find that too. If you give people the cash, then
they have a lot more ability to decide how to spend it in order to address their own
needs, and anyway there usually still is food around. Maxwell: Good. Team, this is a sympathetic
audience, and you haven’t been attacked for depending on the military for, not violently
attacked anyway, for doing the wrong kind of relief, for being too many NGOs, but there
are some challenges embedded in this conversation about the standards, about measurement, about
the kind of relief we’re providing, about how we manage the media. Let’s go in reverse
order. Take a couple of minutes each but not more, and then we want to come back to the
audience and see what conclusions we can draw. So, Barbara, will you go first? Stocking: Yes, well, let’s go back to the
measurement question, because I do think that that’s a really important one. And I think
part of the answer goes back to the clusters, because they are looking at particular areas
where you can actually have some measures that we would all sign up to and say, ‘Yes,
that is what we’re measuring within that cluster.’ The measures, though, are much easier at the
very early stages when you are doing direct service delivery. It is not hard for us in
Oxfam to know how many people we provided how much water to in, you know, say, the first
week or something. It’s not hard to find out how many latrines were built. Those are relatively
easy to get. When you come onto the six months or year, though, how many people’s livelihoods
were restored, figuring that out is pretty complicated and requires, you know, much more
detailed evaluation, and it’s harder to get just simple measures on. But I think you’re
right to challenge. I think that’s one of the things that we’re all sort of on the case
on, because we know it’s not good enough, you know, where we are. A couple of points on other things, the legal
stuff and the land things – yes, in some of the evaluation action reports on the
tsunami, which there were hundreds, I have to say, one of the things that did come out
was don’t try to solve everything all at once, you know, very fast. Sometimes you’re going
to have to do intermediate things. And that was particularly true about the shelter issue
where, you know, in the efforts to get people – there was a sort of real pull and
push about, you know, you don’t want people under the blue sheeting anymore. But equally,
you can’t get them into permanent housing because you haven’t got the land tenure sorted
out. And everybody was being challenged about why you haven’t got more houses built and
everything in just the same way as, you know, the pressure now. And I think there’s issues
about what can you do as an intermediate response and expecting – and it might be, you
know, the schools and the clinics just for the hurricane season. But it might be actually
temporary housing that actually is not the permanent thing there. You have to worry that
then people sometimes keep permanent things as they did in the UK from the war, and there
are still some around nowadays. But, you know, you’ve got to think what’s the right thing
at the right phase. And the last one I’ll mention is this cash
thing. I think, you know, it has moved on enormously actually on the issues about cash.
You’re right, Simon, in saying, again, it’s about phasing. In the first few days, you
know, if there isn’t any food there, then get some food there. But then, you know, at
the same time, really start thinking where can that food come from. Is it in the rest
of the country? Can it be brought from another part? Does it have to come in from the region?
But then going on to this issue about, if there is a market that starts again, then
giving people cash is absolutely fine. And I think a lot of agencies are now doing that
much, much more, both as an immediate cash payment, you know, for, you know, a social
welfare benefit actually for a short-term period. We do it quite often for six-week
periods and so on. But equally, giving people cash grants to get their businesses set up
again, again, we found in the tsunami that was fantastically helpful. Plus, the cash
for work stuff – I mean, we’re paying people to do this latrine digging now. That
gets money into the system again. So I don’t think we’re quite as adverse to cash as it
used to be the case ten years ago, but knowing exactly, again, what you should do when is
– I think it’s, you know, people are working that through. Maxwell: Very good. Thanks very much. Cameron? Sinclair: Naturally, I should be just talking
about housing and buildings and architecture, but the one thing that I want to bring up
that we haven’t talked about is the value of digital inclusion within the situation.
What’s really fascinating is that the fast-moving response, when we talked about the first responders,
were the Haitians. Every single one of them had a cell phone. And Ushahidi, which was
a crowd-source project in Kenya dealing with where was the violence in the election. It
was a Kenyan-based group that used cell phones and GPS tracking to know reports of where
violence was. They did the same in the Congo about emergencies. They were up. They were
setup in Haiti very quickly, and they’re getting thousands of reports geotagged live knowing
where things are, where they are needed, and people helping each other between each other. So in a way, and I hate to use this phrase,
because I hate it so much, which is a Web 2.0 kind of post-disaster situation, is that
you have the ability to do micro-financing through credit through cell phones. We have
four million Haitian diaspora in the United States, all with a cell phone that you can
connect with people on the ground. So there needs to be a grid, a smart grid, in Haiti
that will allow for distribution not just of financing, but, you know, why the heck
isn’t the Sphere guidelines, you know, on a Kindle, right? Every NGO is coming down with their technology.
Why isn’t it updated on the fly? I mean, we should be able to. The idea of like shipping
in books of knowledge to every NGO is just like waste, you know. It’s just more paper,
so I think utilizing digital inclusion, not only in responding to, you know, how do we
deal with the lack of teachers in schools. How are we going to integrate? And Aceh is
a good example where we originally were going to start doing schools, and it turns out that
the projects we needed to was teacher-training colleges, because they’d lost 50% of their
teachers. So, you know, these cause and effects, you know, and understanding that data allows
you to make that decision. So I think we’re fortunate that there are
a lot of kind of open-source solutions both in solutions to financing, but the other thing
is I actually think it’s criminal that NGOs treat solutions as proprietary. I mean, if
you’re work is about social change and a commitment to humanitarian aid, everything should be
open source. We should know how you’re working, how things are working, and how they’re not
working, because, you know, if I look at Save the Children, they’ve got some amazing schools
they’ve been doing in Sierra Leone. Well, you know, and we’re working in nearby Liberia.
You know, we may see a school and say, ‘Oh, we should replicate that,’ not knowing. But what needs to happen is we’ve all got
our own little systems. We’ve all got our own social networks, and we’ve all got our
own systems where they are. What we need to do is be able to cross reference in a way
so that I can instantly see what, you know, all of the educational NGOs are doing and
how we can support them and how we cannot step on their feet, because they’re already
doing this work. Maxwell: Cameron, thank you. I love disagreement
but not at six minutes before the end of the session. Forgive me. Talk about it afterwards.
Madam Ogata? Ogata: The role of the military is what you
asked. I think there is innate hesitance to ask the military to do humanitarian kind of
work. So in my country, when we had the big, big earthquake in Kobe, it was – they
were – people were or the local autonomy officials were rather slow in asking for the
coming of the Self-Defence Forces. But now I think that that kind of a hesitancy has
been overcome, and for the first big emergency, natural disasters, I think the military and
the police and the fire-engine corps, they tend to be very, very useful in the early
phases of moving people, moving things away, and rescue, and so on. But on the whole, humanitarian agencies, including
what I used to do, we didn’t want the military to come around too much, and we did not find
them unless they were well-trained and well-understood their role. Engineering corps is very, very
helpful for reconstruction, I think. But for emergency, they are useful, but there has
to be much better communication and understanding on the part of the military as well as the
people. Maxwell: It’s much more difficult in war zones
actually where you could be seen to take sides. Ogata: In war zones, very much so, of course,
yes. War zones – natural disasters in war zones are really very, very bad, but
I just wanted to give credit to what OCHA is doing in this natural disaster part that
you are trying really getting all of the standards set up in order to make sure that those who
participate are of certain standards that can be met, and also you give information
on who is available and what is needed and that kind. And I hope OCHA and the UN can
really maintain that very, very helpful role for everybody, NGOs and such. Torroella: I would like to follow your comments
regarding the participation of the private and public sector. What you just mentioned
about the army, especially in our country, has made a very, very good job. And I would
mention also this, the work that has been done lately in this Haiti problem with our
First Lady. You need someone to coordinate this even – they are the ones that
set the priorities. And the other thing that has been said here on the public also is the
local, the networks, the people at the site where we work in construction or whatever.
They are the people that really know how to handle the problems. We have the funds. We
have the equipment, the engineering, and construction. But what I’m saying, I think it’s essential
also to have a specific where to work. In Haiti, for example, what we’re doing right
now, when it strike there, we said, ‘Where should we work?’ and we found out that there
were two hospitals and one orphanage where we should work. So when you focus things,
you go directly to it, and you will come up with a better, a much better solution than
just don’t know where to invest or where to put your money, because the reaction, it’s
enormous. Where do we put the money that we get from our companies from this funding?
Well, we get it, and then we put it in a specific – and I show them after two or three
years what happened in Mexico in the Tabasco floods. We show them what we have done in
the past, and this is something very important in the private sector to show, and I think
anywhere, to show where your investments are going to. Thank you. Maxwell: I need to just round up this discussion.
I asked you earlier on what happens if there’s more than one emergency, and you started telling
me about how OCHA is capable of managing three catastrophes at once. Just perhaps explain
to people how that works among other things you want to say. Bragg: Well, actually, there is not much to
explain. I mean, we do have both of the early detection capability. We have the first responder
capability, and, you know, all of that is in place. I think I’d much rather spend my
remaining minute that I’m allowed to address three very quick points. The first one is
in terms of the cash. In the appeal for Haiti, the $575 million appeal from the UN agencies
with quite a number of NGOs, in that there’s a $45 million appeal from UNDP for cash for
work. And what we’re doing there is that the plan is to hire 100,000 Haitians at $5 a day
to help with things such as clearing the rubbles, helping with the rebuilding, helping with
distribution of relief items, so that they get work. They get the dignity of work. They
get some cash in their pockets. They can revitalize the market. That’s what is important. So for
those few of you in the private sector in the audience who are thinking of how you write
your cheque, please consider that as one of your options, because I think it is so important
that we actually do that. The second point is in terms of the government.
Madam Ogata mentioned that there is a difference in terms of how you engage the government
in development versus humanitarian response. But I hasten to add that all international
humanitarian response should be in support of the government, and we carry that as an
approach. And my sentiment is more with the gentleman from Mercy Corps in terms of needing
to shore up this current government, you know, which was fairly weak, you know, before the
disaster and, because of the disaster, has lost huge capacity, not just in terms of its
leadership, but also in the civil service. The civil service has suffered incredible
loss. Their offices and their files have been destroyed. It’s very difficult for them to
get back on their feet. We need to help them with that, and I think it would be a real
mistake in both the relief and recovery and development to sideline the government of
the day, regardless of where we’re at in particular in Haiti. The last point is I know Haiti always seems
to everybody as a basket case and is always bad news. I’d like to end on a more positive
note. I totally agree with Cameron and with Barbara on the importance of disaster risk
reduction, but let me just give you one illustration of how Haiti itself actually is a learning
country. In 2004, a tropical storm, not even hurricane status, not even hurricane category
one, a tropical storm passed through Gonaïves, which is the northern part of Haiti for those
who know the geography. It caused an immense mudslide and landslide and killed 2,000 people.
It then went over to Dominican Republic, and nobody died. By the time it reached Dominican
Republic, you know, that storm was a category one, and no one died, okay? In 2008, four years later, four hurricanes
hit Haiti in the western part of the same area, in the western part. The total number
of deaths out the four hurricanes was a few hundred people. That’s because it has engaged
the country, both from the government level, from the community level, from the individual
level, have engaged in disaster risk reduction and preparedness. The community knows what
to do when there is warning for hurricanes. They have shelters to get people. I mean,
as we know, you get people out of harm’s way, they don’t die. It’s about as simple as that. Maxwell: Thank you. Sorry to rush you. We’re
supposed to stop. I want to ask you two questions and ask you to vote to see whether we get
to conclusions. The first question is I’m going to ask you whether you’re optimistic
or pessimistic about the scaling up of the relief effort in Haiti. Put up your hands
if you’re, from what you’ve heard today, optimistic. Put up your hands if you’re pessimistic. Not
everybody agrees, but there is a sense that the relief effort is coming together, and
I think that a number of you have spoken very strongly about the lessons that have been
learned and how they’re being applied. Let me ask you a final question. This is a
topic in which, under Olivia’s leadership, the World Economic Forum has invested a good
deal of effort in trying to bring the parties together and build new partnerships. I want
to ask you whether you think this is an area in which the World Economic Forum should continue
to invest, building public-private partnerships in disasters. Put your hands up if you think
it should. Put your hands up if you think it shouldn’t. That’s the right answer. Well
done. Thank you very much. Davos discussions work well when the audience is as expert as
the panel. We’ve had a really good air. Thank you all very much.

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12 Comments

  1. i'd appreciate some elaboration on the following statement made here (paraphrasing a bit): "we need to stop people from flying in from all over the world, you know, with their suitcases and their hearts on their sleeves, you know, to come and help, because they really do hinder the first response effort"

    a) is this really true that they hinder?
    b) i dislike the wording used here to describe such people…also the smirk on the face of the guy who said it…felt almost like an insult…

  2. seems idiotic IMO that comments on such an important topic are being moderated!…how efficient is that?…this approach discourages feedback/input from youtubers (etc)…makes the discussion of things, to use an expression used in the discussion, "like a tugboat"…and who is moderating?…and what are they afraid of?…let the people react!

  3. the fact that this video has already been viewed 1600 times but only has one comment seems to say something…pls stop moderating…

  4. Barbara Stocking and Cameron Sinclair are both talking at an event in London on 25 May about natural disaster response. A series called 21st Century Challenges

  5. The world bank has forgiven the Haitian nation's debt. How many people have student loans hanging over their heads and no real job prospects due to out sourcing to third world countries?

  6. @6950062
    Yeah great analysis of the disparity in the world economic situation. Maybe watch more interesting videos like this and come back with a more informed response or contribution, you tool. The same goes for you @spankydo12. @cesar60539 maybe go and watch a lady gaga video, that might keep you entertained.

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