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close this bookRehabilitation and Reconstruction - 1st Edition (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - Disaster Management Training Programme - United Nations Development Programme , 1993, 47 p.)
close this folderPart 1 - Scope of rehabilitation and reconstruction
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentNature of the disaster
View the documentScale of the damage
View the documentLocation of the event
View the documentSectors affected
View the documentLosses
View the documentResulting needs
View the documentAvailable resources
View the documentPolitical commitment
View the documentActors involved in the reconstruction
View the documentSummary

Political commitment

Recovery from major disaster events necessitate large quantities of material and human resources and good organizational/institutional capacity. Although there may be various national and international organizations to support the local population in recovering from the impact of the event much of the responsibility for rehabilitation and reconstruction will fall on the government of the country concerned. Besides, effective recovery response very much depends on the authorities capacity to plan and coordinate the efforts of the various groups involved in this process. Facilitating all these actions requires political commitment of the government for the benefit of the disaster stricken areas. However, channeling of funds, allocating resources of all kinds, providing services and opportunities for recovery often happens in a political context. Electoral pressures and local power structures may become instrumental in shaping the nature of reconstruction. While most governments in the immediate aftermath of a disaster declare their intentions of making up for all losses, with the progress of time, they can easily lose the initial momentum. As media attention drops, the public loses faith in receiving support and the authorities shift their focus on other issues. Recovery will be delayed. In some situations such as civil conflict there may not be real commitment to begin with.

The speed and effectiveness of recovery, therefore, is as much a political issue as it is a matter of resources. In this respect, the nature of rehabilitation and reconstruction planning will be greatly shaped by the level of political commitment and its sustainability throughout the process.