Thursday, December 30, 2004

The UN and the Tsunami

The Diplomad gives a first hand account of UN "effort" on tsunami relief:
I can tell you, dear readers, that I am temporarily working in one of the countries that got slammed hard by the tsunami and while the UN effort might be in high gear, it must have its parking brake on. No sign of that effort here! Lots of bureaucrats flying in and out, but that's about it.
The great thing about the Diplomad (and the Daily Demarche for that matter) is the how they effortlessly pierce the veil of diplomatic self aggrandizement. Clarity, facts, honest analysis. I don't know how these guys keep their sanity amongst all the BS, but I'm glad they do.

UPDATE: More here:
I provided this to some USAID colleagues working in Indonesia and their heads nearly exploded. The first paragraph is quite simply a lie. The UN is taking credit for things that hard-working, street savvy USAID folks have done. It was USAID working with their amazing network of local contacts who scrounged up trucks, drivers, and fuel; organized the convoy and sent it off to deliver critical supplies. A UN “air-freight handling centre” in Aceh? Bull! It's the Aussies and the Yanks who are running the air ops into Aceh. We have people working and sleeping on the tarmac in Aceh, surrounded by bugs, mud, stench and death, who every day bring in the US and Aussie C-130s and the US choppers; unload, load, send them off.