Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, February 7, 2014 (PIA) –How much international donation to quake ravished Bohol has come in? The answer: not one can fully account, except the organizations themselves.
The system is not as centralized, admits international organizations helping Bohol with the rehabilitation.
It means, international organizations use their own funds for their programmed rehabilitation efforts, while donations coursed through other means, including governments are each of their accountabilities.
“International funding organizations bring in their own funded relief and rehab work and account them, but for other well meaning organizations, no one can tell,” an international relief worker hinted.
“We are sure its there, but we don’t know how people can see them, the worker,” who refused to be named said.
“It would be presumptuous to speak for other organizations or the government,” Jock Paul, head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Activities of the United Nations (UN OCHA) said.
Over the overly-minted and sold idea of corruption and malversation of funds and goods intended for calamity victims, international humanitarian organizations working in Bohol urge people to browse the internet and look at the organization’s websites to see for themselves the accounting of funds.
OCHA also assured their donations do not get to the local governments, these are coursed through them directly and then implemented on calamity stricken communities.
He also said the set-up is also true to other international organizations working to facilitate humanitarian assistance to Bohol.
Each organization maintains their own websites for transparency, and the best thing is to go seek for the information which is always available at their website, Jock said.
He also said they have no way of finding out how much and where these were spent, meaning recovery funds sent directly to local governments.
At the weekly Kapihan sa PIA Thursday, UN-OCHA, International Organization for Migration (IOM), ShelterCluster, World Vision and Habitat for Humanity Foundation came to respond to several questions many relief beneficiaries keep, foremost of which is, where are the funds?
They also came to the radio forum to spread the word about their services and activities as Bohol struggles to move the rehabilitation to earthquake devastated Bohol to a new pace.
Since October 15, international humanitarian organizations have also poured in funds for relief and rehabilitation to Bohol, food, water, sanitation, hygiene, education, psycho social debriefing and shelter.
But, because the earthquake also caused power problems bringing communications to a standstill, communities needing help could only rely on that which trickles in.
International organizations coming have to coordinate with local governments see the entire picture and determine where they can help by implementing their relief and rehabilitation work.
“We work and coordinate with the national and local governments but that is on helping them make assessments and the recovery plans so we can see where we can help,” ShelterCluster through Birgit Vaes added.