I read an article on IRIN the other day about the dysfunctional UN mission in Myanmar, and felt an urge to write some spontaneous, but heartfelt comments.
Myanmar – A Case In Point
What is described in the article is unfortunately not unique. Quite the contrary:
- The absence of leadership. In Myanmar, through a UN representative who is apparently not suited for the job.
- Internal, detrimental strife between different agencies.
This is, unfortunately, the case with many UN missions around the world. As a result, the UN is not able to take a stand and focus on essential matters.
Such as the horrendous situation of the Rohingyas in Myanmar.
Furthermore, this cowardice mixed with internal battles makes the UN look ridiculous, and more and more insignificant day by day. [Read more…]
Does corruption make people more susceptible to disasters? In other words does corruption shape the impact and magnitude of a disaster?
In the first post in this series I wrote about what is more well-known regarding corruption and disasters. Such as the embezzlement of relief funds and substandard buildings collapsing during earthquakes.
However, when it comes to how corruption influences vulnerability in general, little has been written, and even less has been said.
There are a few published articles on the subject but they are beyond most people’s reach. Official reports and documents often only hint at a connection, and use terms like “ lack of accountability” or “weak governance”.
That does not mean a relationship does not exist. Because, there are several things we actually do know. [Read more…]
I have just read “The Book of Joy” by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. (with Douglas Carlton Abrams). And I felt so uplifted that I needed to write a blog inspired by their thoughts.
The authors remind us of the universal and ancient wisdom that joy can only be found within ourselves. It is not about loads of money, the next promotion, a bigger house or achieving any kind of self-centred goals.
We know that, but the human race seems to be in need of a constant reminder. If we had lived by that reminder both humanity and the planet would have been in a much better state. [Read more…]
If you have any experience from working with disasters, you are probably aware of the severe impact corruption has on disaster management. The problem with corruption is of course that it is opaque; and often occurs in countries where transparency is low and press freedom repressed. Hence, it can continue undisturbed. Journalists or others who want to investigate cases of severe corruption also risk putting themselves in danger.
In academic literature the influence of corruption on disaster management is mentioned; but mostly in a generic way without elaborating on the matter. When I browsed through the index lists of my books on disaster management, the word corruption occurred in only one of them. Articles that do exist are often shared among academics or networks of professionals. In other words, within closed communities talking to themselves.
So, what do we know?