The round table was preceded by an overview of the shelter response to date in Pakistan, where they worked respectively for CRS and CARE.
Excerpts from discussions
NB: The following excerpts are from notes by Shelter Centre volunteer rapporteurs. The extracts are for general interest and do not necessarily represent the views either of the majority of the participants of the Shelter Meeting, or of Shelter Centre.
"So far there has been a heavy push towards tents though there aren't enough winterised tents on the planet to cope. There's been a lot of talk about winterising tents. Families not receiving enough assistance and travelling down the valleys and camps are being set up, though many families are also keen to stay. Some groups are changing their minds and moving about in anticipation of the snow. Government is strong and able and has a lot of assets. They are looking for technical advice, though it's been hard to 'plug in' the advice. The shelter cluster has had only one meeting with the government. Tents were clearly seen as a nice option because of the transportation problems. Roads are out because of landslides. Some areas are politically complicated and it's hard to understand some of the decisions being taken. The people on the ground are the ones who are going to make the recovery happen."
"It's the classic dilemma of whether to support a lot of people badly or a few people well. The latter argument seems to have won the day. Perhaps 12 sheets per family to make a sort of zinc tent would have been that much more effective than the 8 that the government settled on. On the other hand, there's an incremental approach, where small deliveries of different materials are frequently made to gradually improve the standards of living. We do anticipate a cold snap which happens some winters which will force people down the valleys."