|Disaster Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Policy (International Committee of the Red Cross , 1993, 11 p.)|
Imported shelter units: In the past too high a priority has been placed on the need for imported, prefabricated, temporary housing. Imported units may not be cost-effective, may suffer from low occupancy and take too long to arrive. They fail to take account of survivors needs and wants, climatic variations, cultural heterogeneity, variations in family size and, at times, the lack of available land or problems of land ownership. Furthermore, they do little to mobilise a community to meet its own needs. In general, temporary housing is very costly and is only an option if significant financial resources are available and local solutions cannot be found. Permanent housing may well be cheaper and temporary accommodation can often be found in shelters of various sorts.
Distribution of materials: As an alternative to shelter design, agencies such as National Societies may distribute building materials and tools if these are not readily available, subject to financial controls which will not distort the market and will include the cost of land and services.
Self-help: Self-help methods have many advantages in the mobilisation of the community and the development of existing skills, but they require technical expertise and a long-term commitment by National Societies. Problems of land tenure and the provision of services may have to be resolved by the National Society.