The usual excuses of the international aid community as to why planned projects do not materialize do not work in an EU country like Greece. So why does the international aid community fails to meet the needs for the refugees in Greece, when there is an EU funding of €86million, infrastructure and a stable government?
“In Greece we are continuing to operate in the same ways as before, but without the traditional excuses to rely on. When we have enabling infrastructure, a socio-political context that is easy to operate in, access to Wi-Fi, technology andadequate funds, and yet are failing to meet the refugees’ basic needs (even for something as simple as safe accommodation), reduce serious threats (such as the prevalence of sexual violence), or to be accountable or innovative, it suggests we are disinterested or incompetent. Perhaps both.”
The criticism comes by a “Secret Aid Worker” who exposes “international NGO’s and the UNHCR as money-orientated, bloated, bureaucratic and inefficient,”, while the groups of volunteer organizations and solidarity groups :work less and achieve more.”
“In Greece the aid community is being exposed. Our exposure is further compounded when we are unfavourably compared to organised and efficient groups of volunteers who work with less and achieve more. In comparison INGOs and the UNHCR seem money-orientated, bloated, bureaucratic and inefficient.
Across Greece there are volunteers working both independently and as organised groups, meeting needs and filling gaps. They take over abandoned buildings to ensure refugees have somewhere to sleep, provide additional nutrition to pregnant and breastfeeding women, organise and manage informal education programmes, including setting up schools inside camps.
All of this while INGO staff sip their cappuccinos in countless coordination meetings – for cash distribution, protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, food distribution and child-protection. Often to avoid engaging meaningfully in the discussions, we furiously take notes.
If any response has called into question whether the humanitarian sector is still fit for purpose, it’s the response to the refugee crisis in Greece. (full article The Guardian)
PS Blame the much too many meetings, guys, and the huge bureaucratic structure and hierarchy of the NGO’s.