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livelihoods gone « Previous | |Next »
January 6, 2005

It is clear that Short-term relief is not going to be enough when livelihoods and fishermen's hamlets have gone:

NewsTsunami26.jpg
Waves of Destruction

So what next? Maybe we need a bit of debt relief?

An argument can be found here. A counter argument. Others say that trade is more important. However, both aid and trade are needed. Europe, for instance, could acknowledge that far-reaching debt relief and the opening of its markets, would start countries such as Sri Lanka on the slow ascent out of chronic poverty. The G7 should grant debt relief.

It is also clear that the region needs more than debt relief.

It needs long-term development assistance to help restore livelihoods and enable shattered communities to get back on their economic feet:

CartoonDartziger2.jpg
Jeff Danziger

So the Australian Government's $1billion reconstruction and development package to Indonesia is to be welcomed.It will be administered by Indonesia and Australia, not the UN; and it places an emphasis on the reconstruction of the devastated region of Aceh and its future development. More detail on the package can be found at Geoffry MG's Beyond Wallacia.

I presume the focus of this package is on restoring livelihoods. Can we so presume, given the ongoing military operations still being conducted by the Indonesian military in Aceh?

However, we should retain a critical eye. Will the emergency relief, when channelled into this conflict zones, serve to feed armed conflict and undermine the ability of local economies to recover and develop?

What is clear is that Indonesia should lift its military state-of-emergency in the tsunami-devastated Aceh province and allow aid groups should not be pressured, and even forced, to turn over aid to the military for delivery.

It is clear is that there is national self-interest as well as the good neighbour humanitarianism at work in Australia's long-term development assistance to Indonesia. The development package gives Australia lots of benefits.

It enables greater cooperation with Jakarta in the war against terrorism; it helps to ensure that a viable Indonesian economy provides benefits for Australian trade and investment;it provides opportunities for Australian companies to be involved in rebuilding key insfrastructure in a devastated Aceh province; and it ensures that Australia becomes a key regional player playing a different role to the deputy sheriff of the US willing to launch pre-emptive strikes against Australia's neighbours.

Australia is doing good deeds in Indonesia. Read the Diplomad for an embassy perspective on the good on the ground work being done by the Australians and Americans, in contrast to the slow moving UN.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:54 PM | | Comments (0)
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