From Relief to Recovery: The GUJARAT Experience

31 Dec 2001
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Summary

This report sets out to promote transition recovery as a tool for sustainable development by defining the UNDP concept of transition from relief to recovery as pioneered in Gujarat, and by describing its practical applications in the areas of shelter, livelihoods and local governance. It also examines the coordinating role of UNDP among various stakeholders and offers lessons learned and recommendations. The concept of transition is premised on the belief that whatever the type and scale of disaster, the period of transition from relief to recovery is most critical.

Disasters offer unique, if transient, opportunities for change. During the relief phase, huge volumes of resources pour in from a range of entities such as the government, the private sector, international aid agencies and civil society organizations, each with diverse agendas and interests. As the relief phase draws to a close, public and donor interest wanes, and government and other agencies embark on a long process of recovery. In the period when relief is provided but recovery is yet to begin, vulnerable groups are especially at risk. The period of transition, thus, not only determines whether people attain recovery or rebuild risk, but also determines whether the process of recovery leads to sustainable development or hastens a downward spiral of development and livelihoods.

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