Problems with the arrival of unsolicited supplies
One of the main problems confronting national authorities is accurately identifying which relief supplies have arrived.
In the aftermath of a disaster, one of the main problems confronting national authorities is accurately identifying which relief supplies have arrived, where they have been stored, and how useful they are. Often, well-meaning but misinformed donors send items that are not particularly useful, given the nature of the emergency as well as conditions on the ground.
Strictly speaking, this is a technical problem, but it has serious repercussions for policy implementation when taking into account the following factors:
- All too frequently, the storage space, transportation, and human resources dedicated to relief supply management are scarce, and thus must be allocated as efficiently as possible.
- Technical information about arriving supplies is often lacking, making it harder to distribute them.
- Because of these problems, the donors and the media receive a negative impression of relief management efforts, through no fault of the disaster managers themselves.