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Working with local people

Many previous approaches used by external agencies to engage local people have been met with criticism.
To be honest, it’s quite amazing. People are different. People responded to disaster differently. Sometimes the community gets stronger and comes together and help each other, and sometimes some people get violent because they don’t trust the system. They don’t trust the government. They feel that they lost everything and this aid might go to the wrong hands or to the wrong people, whatever. When we started rebuilding Lunda - a young man from the next-door village came with a Kalashnikov and he put it on my head, and he said you need to start in my village first before you do this, and he said you are not gonna work in this village before you start in my village.
I tried to negotiate - we failed at the beginning. So we have to use a different method of negotiation. We tell them that we withdraw completely and we close the projects. We were lucky enough that his father was from Lunda, so his father starts putting pressure on him to withdraw and later on he became really very helpful. It is a negotiation exercise.

In Pakistan, the national disaster management structure was undergoing a period of change.

The new disaster management authority was still under development, local government agencies struggled to understand their new responsibilities and mobilise sufficient capacity, and in many districts there were issues of public trust and confidence in elected local government.

Watch the video above to see some more of the challenges faced by response agencies trying to meet the needs of those in Pakistan with limited resources and time.

Your task

What socio-cultural and environmental differences should influence the humanitarian interventions in the different parts of flood-affected Pakistan? Post your thoughts in the comments area.
Some examples are given in this paper:
Arai, T. (2012) ‘Rebuilding Pakistan in the Aftermath of the Floods: Disaster Relief as Conflict Prevention’. Journal of Peacebuilding & Development [online] 7 (1), 51-65. available from [28 April 2020]
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Humanitarian Action, Response and Relief

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