The Funding of International Relief Assistance in Disaster Situations

  • Richard Pordes


The key to the decentralization of the international disaster relief system is the voluntary nature of funding for relief assistance. In Richard Pordes’ description of the fund-raising process at UNICEF, it becomes clear why this organization, although officially concerned primarily with long-term development, is nevertheless the United Nations organization that most readily comes to most people’s minds in the context of disaster relief. Success in generating voluntary contributions hinges on organizational identity; to preserve that identity requires a certain amount of rigidity that belies the need for cooperation in assistance programs where the principal requirements are flexibility and speed of response. It is unlikely that governments will dismantle the complex bureaucracy that has its home in the United States at Turtle Bay, but the fact Richard Pordes works for UNICEF, but the views expressed in this paper are those of the author alone and in no way represent the official point of view of the United Nations, UNICEF or any of the UN’s Specialized Agencies.


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Copyright information

© UNA-USA 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Pordes
    • 1

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