Wie wirksam ist Katastrophenhilfe?

Im Katastrophenfall sind die Nichtregierungsorganisationen (NGOs) unter den ersten, die vor Ort eintreffen. Laut Schätzungen der Vereinten Nationen gibt es heute über 37.000 internationale NGOs, auf deren Arbeit die größten Geber immer stärker angewiesen sind.

Zwangsläufig ergeben sich dabei Probleme. Sowohl beim Genozid in Ruanda im Jahr 1994 als auch beim Tsunami im Indischen Ozean 2004 kam es zu einem chaotischen Wettbewerb zwischen den NGOs. Aber auch historische Erfolge waren zu verzeichnen.  Über 1.400 NGOs in 90 Ländern halfen mit, dass 123 Länder den Vertrag über das Landminenverbot  ratifizierten. Allerdings geben der schiere Umfang der Katastrophenhilfe-„Industrie“ – sowie die längerfristigen Bestrebungen der NGOs im Entwicklungsbereich – Anlass zu ernsthaften Bedenken darüber, wie man deren Leistungen messen sollte.

Ihre Flexibilität ermöglicht es den NGOs auf eine Weise innovativ zu sein, die anderen Organisationen wie der UNO oft verwehrt ist. Allerdings gibt es nur wenige internationale Regeln, die besagen, was eine NGO überhaupt ausmacht und mangelnde Kontrolle kann unvorhersehbare Folgen haben. Kürzlich versuchte eine französische NGO namens L’Arche de Zoé im Tschad Kinder außer Landes zu bringen, ohne vorher die Einwilligung der Eltern oder der Regierung einzuholen.

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