Asia’s Decade of Disaster has spurred as sharper focus on how aid is used

When aid started arriving after Typhoon Haiyan, there was gratitude but also frustration among harried bureaucrats in Manila. An outpouring global goodwill deluged the Philippines with every form of aid, from cash to emergency supplies and heavy equipment. The first pledge was from Indonesia, recalls Richard E. Moya, chief information officer and undersecretary at the Department of Budget and Management. “They asked us what name to put on the check, and we were not sure. I was thankful but frustrated that help was here, and realized we were not yet prepared to accept that help”.

As one of the world’s most disaster-plagued countries, the Philippines has worked hard to bolster the resilience of it far-flung communities and to streamline relief efforts. Haiyan, locally called Yolanda, would have taken more lives without these preparations. Nevertheless, the devastation it wrought demanded new efforts to demonstrate that aid was reaching those who need it the most.

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