Apparently one aid organizer things that the Canadian government's response to the Tsunami in SE Asia was amateurish....
Canada's tsunami response 'amateur,' CARE chief says
Last Updated Thu, 03 Feb 2005 16:16:03 EST
OTTAWA - Canada's response to the tsunami disaster was "amateur," according to the head of one of the biggest Canadian relief organizations.
John Watson, president and chief executive of CARE Canada, was particularly critical of the decision to send the military's Disaster Assistance Response Team to Sri Lanka last month.
Watson says he will "throw up" if he hears another person say DART is fast-moving
FROM JAN. 10, 2005: Full DART team arrives in Ampara
INDEPTH: Canada's rapid response team
"DART makes no sense, except as a PR exercise," he said in a speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday.
DART's six-week deployment for tsunami relief will cost about $20 million, including rental of two huge transport aircraft to carry the team's equipment.
Watson said sending the military team was like "using a Cadillac where a motor scooter or skateboard would be most useful."
He said he would "throw up" if he heard another person say DART is fast-moving and can respond faster than non-governmental aid organizations, a statement he disputes.
The decision on whether to send DART was controversial in Ottawa from the time the tsunami hit the shores of the Indian Ocean on Boxing Day.
Some government officials thought the unit should be sent to help immediately, while others thought the $20 million would be better spent by giving it to NGOs such as CARE and the Red Cross.
FROM JAN. 4, 2005: Canada sending DART to help in Sri Lanka
Watson said the Dec. 26 disaster highlighted major problems with Canada's aid delivery systems.
He blamed public servants, politicians, the media and NGOs, arguing:
The public service is risk-averse and sees its main duty as attempting to stay out of trouble rather than to put policy initiatives into action.
Politicians have too little courage and are focused on spin.
Media encourage the politicians' response with their approach of "catching people out."
Charitable organizations are "sinners" for not speaking out about the situation.
Watson said NGOs should get together to set up an efficient, unified aid delivery system, based on the British model.
Such a system would be more successful because there would be a single public appeal for aid. But the different aid groups would have to agree to put the money "with the agencies who can best use it."
Watson said Canadians have donated approximately $3.5 million to CARE Canada to aid in tsunami relief efforts. CARE Canada works in 48 countries, and is part of an international network that works in more than 70 developing countries.