Success in Nepal relief won't come cheap

The people who need relief efforts most after the Nepal earthquake are also the hardest to reach. The aid effort, therefore, will likely be more expensive than comparable disasters. Mark Smith, senior director for humanitarian emergencies at World Vision, explains more in this video interview.

The Nepal earthquake relief operation has been hampered by “choke-points” — the country’s rudimentary road system is a big one — and humanitarian groups are still grappling with the cost of delivering lifesaving supplies to remote regions.

Even for a disaster situation that was long-anticipated, it is impossible to know exactly what challenges responders and donors will face when they arrive on the scene.

Devex spoke with Mark Smith, senior director for humanitarian emergencies at World Vision, to learn how the international relief organization has adapted its plans and logistics to account for the unique trials and tribulations of Nepal’s mountainous crisis.

Smith urged the development community to think carefully before applying cost per beneficiary measures of success to this emergency relief operation. The people who need aid most, Smith pointed out, are the ones who will be most expensive to reach.

Watch the video above for a short teaser of our conversation with Smith, and view this clip for an extended excerpt from our conversation with the disaster relief expert.

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About the author

  • Igoe michael 1

    Michael Igoe

    Michael Igoe is a Senior Reporter with Devex, based in Washington, D.C. He covers U.S. foreign aid, global health, climate change, and development finance. Prior to joining Devex, Michael researched water management and climate change adaptation in post-Soviet Central Asia, where he also wrote for EurasiaNet. Michael earned his bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College, where he majored in Russian, and his master’s degree from the University of Montana, where he studied international conservation and development.