Relief agency wants aid holdups stopped

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have implored governments of developing countries to change their laws and discourage holdups in the delivery of relief assistance. The global relief body has proposed a set of guidelines for contending with emergencies and for ensuring that humanitarian and relief organizations would still uphold global standards. “Though little discussed, legal barriers can be as obstructive to effective international disaster relief operations as high winds or washed out roads,” the IFRC said in a new report. “At the same time, the absence of regulation where it is needed can contribute to a response that is uncoordinated, wasteful and inadequately respectful to beneficiaries and domestic relief actors,” it added. Some of the problems that the organization identified in the delivery of aid were lengthy customs procedures and exorbitant tariffs for perishable goods like food and medicines, the visa restrictions on humanitarian workers, and the difficulty of transporting vehicles and telecommunications equipment, among others. (Source: Relief body urges world action to end aid holdups/Reuters)

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