Ethics in a Crisis Community Partners
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Disasters are inevitable. Most of the time worst disasters occur in the least expected places in the world. When disasters occur, whether countrywide or small country patches, they always end up with the destruction of properties, loss of lives and displacement of survivors. Definitely, a community in crisis seeks humanitarian assistance. Most survivors or victims during and after the disaster are generally hungry, traumatized, and sick and may even forget to recall how data sim cards work. Depending on the magnitude of destruction, the international community, comprising of the United Nations, U.S. Peace Corp., Red Cross International, among others, is always ready to respond to provide humanitarian assistance when the need arises. However, if the affected populace runs on a smaller-scale and appears to be manageable, it is the primary duty of the national and local city governments of the country to render immediate rescue, relief and rehabilitation services. Government and non-government sectors involved should coordinate with each other and stage a well-coordinated rescue, relief and rehabilitation services. It is must be emphasized that disaster and humanitarian objectives are the primary objectives and not the military and security objectives.

During disasters when everyone is caught unprepared, there are instances where the value of ethics is sometimes overlooked, if not totally, neglected. This happens when there are unchecked hidden agenda like political motives that either exploit the vulnerability of the victims, or manipulate conflict of interests on any unprepared area of the community.

To prevent ethical dilemmas, local city government must be proactive which means it has to plan and anticipate how to respond to all possible scenarios. It must clearly define the flow of communications where the lines of orders and command from top to bottom will be directed. Respective roles and functions of each participating relief and humanitarian organizations must be clearly determined and delineated. It is important that local city government level officials together with the survivors be empowered. Participating organizations in the disaster management must be linked with conflict-resolution activities. Setting up mechanisms geared towards relationship building and networking is another better option to check unwanted, unethical behaviors or hidden agenda. In short, the disaster handlers must be fully organized in order to have an effective disaster response.

After the disasters, most of the time victims are released to find their way. Rarely do you find genuine assistance that commits to provide continuous transitory support related to self-help, self-sustainability, self-rehabilitation and development. Maybe it is just about time that more support be channeled to self-sustainability or more specifically, an after disaster self-sustainability development framework be immediately drawn.

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