Update [2005-3-28 9:12:13 by DuctapeFatwa]:8.2 Quake in Sumatra 3-28-05
More when available.
The tsunami that overwhelmed Asia in December killed three times more women than men, and the resulting scarcity of female survivors has led to reports of forced marriages and rape, the British-based charity Oxfam International said Saturday.
Although official statistics do not provide the gender of victims, partial data indicates that many more women than men were among the 300,000 people killed or declared missing after the Dec. 26 tsunami devastated the coastlines of 11 countries around the Indian Ocean.
The impact on women was seen especially in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India. Indonesia, the country hardest hit by the earthquake-generated tsunami, now has villages where men now outnumber women 10-to-1…In some villages it now appears that up to 80 percent of those killed were women,” said Becky Buel, Oxfam’s policy director…women suffered disproportionately because they had a more difficult time outrunning the surging waters or the bad luck of being at home while the men were out at sea fishing or in the fields…
Sri Lankan women reportedly have been sexually assaulted in camp toilets and domestic violence is on the rise, the report found. Indonesian women, according to Oxfam and women activists, are being sexually harassed in camps, forced or rushed into marrying much older men and victimized by abusive Indonesian soldiers, who reportedly have strip-searched them…
“We know of at least three marriages in which women married older widowers. What we don’t know is how forced it was,” said Ines Smyth, gender adviser for Oxfam…
“When we asked them, they say they have an obligation to their family and were frightened for the future. If you lost everything you had, including your family, it’s very difficult to refuse whatever is being offered, whether it’s protection or the possibility of a house.”…
Indonesian activists claim it is difficult to get women to talk about the abuse or report it to authorities. The few women left in coastal settlements interviewed said they were unaware of any abuse, and they were focusing on rebuilding their lives… link
Here’s a related story
Most International Aid Wasted, Say Agencies
Red tape, inefficiency and nepotism mean that only one fifth of international aid actually gets to the people who need it, aid agencies said Monday.
Not only that, but 40 percent of international aid is spent buying overpriced goods and services from the donors’ own countries, Action Aid and Oxfam said in a joint report calling for urgent reform of a politically compromised system.
“First and foremost, they need to spend aid where it is needed — on poverty reduction — rather than channel it to their own consultancy and infrastructure industries and geopolitical allies,” the report said.
It accused the United States and Italy of being the worst culprits in so-called aid “round tripping,” spending some 70 percent of their aid on their own companies.
“This is the ultimate form of round tripping — taking with one hand what is given with the other while advertising your ‘generosity,”‘ it said, noting that the inefficiency involved inflated procurement costs by some $7 billion a year.
One way to get around this is to pass over the big popular western “aid agencies” and try to get as local as you can.
Best of all, get to know people from the areas involved. They are your best source. A while ago, I started a big, disorganized, messy glom of contact info of different agencies and orgs that you can go plow through by clicking here