Uncontrolled costs of disaster relief


Appeals for disaster relief are of an emergency and humane nature and preclude a financial accounting in the early stages. However, there is rarely a governmental accounting afterwards either, and the wastage is generally known to be high in most relief operations. In addition, intergovernmental organizations and national and international non-governmental relief organizations must maintain a relief apparatus and readiness, including financial reserves. The hidden costs in any disaster relief are the costs of maintaining such relief readiness and include staff salaries, purchase and storage of relief items, and transportation and relief delivery expenses. The ad hoc mechanisms of some relief operations result in premium prices being paid for some goods and services. Other relief operation planning which relies on contracted and sub-contracted services may favour some suppliers, who, enjoying a monopoly position, may abuse this by increasing their prices and thus the costs of relief. There may be inadequate internal financial controls and audits of such purchases of relief goods and services.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate Action
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST