Science locale pour grandes catastrophes

La Terre produit un flot constant de catastrophes. Certaines, comme le sida, sont chroniques, d’autres, comme les tremblements de terre ou l’ouragan Katrina, sont des déchainements soudains des forces de la nature. Dans tous les cas, on s’attend à ce que les secours, bien financés, arrivent de régions plus riches. Cependant, faire venir l’aide d’ailleurs pourrait non seulement être moins efficace mais pourrait également être la cause d’autres problèmes à long terme.

Quand un tsunami frappe, le premier reflexe est de faire venir des spécialistes des pays riches. La principale priorité est de porter secours, et d’assurer ensuite l'arrivée des aides alimentaires et médicales, et l’organisation des abris. Il s’agit simplement d’organiser l’aide, et cela doit se faire de la manière la plus efficace possible, de sorte que les opérations se déroulent selon la philosophie institutionnelle des pays donateurs.

Siphonner les habitudes d’une culture dans une autre lors du processus de reconstruction peut déclencher des changements sociétaux qui sont presque aussi dangereux que la catastrophe elle-même, comme ce fut le cas dans un petit village de pêcheurs aux Philippines à la fin des années 1970.

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