When Disaster Strikes: The Response to the South Asian Earthquake

Whenever there is an emergency where organisations and governments rush to respond there often follows a string of complaints about how the aid was delivered. This article will focus on the complexity of delivering aid in emergencies, with an emphasis on natural disasters rather than complex emergencies. While those outside the aid world may be critical of the failure of the delivery of sufficient aid, the lateness of aid, the diversion of precious resources, the politicisation of aid, or the apparent high administrative costs, these criticisms serve to illustrate the extremely complex realities that face the aid community in its efforts to respond to emergencies.