EUROSAI. Magazine N26 - 2021

Magazine No. 26 - 2021 79 Studies and other articles A unique feature of disaster-related aid is the impact that it can have on saving lives and property and restoring human dignity. This is because no matter how well-prepared the governments, communities or individuals plan to be, they can never be prepared enough to avoid all adverse effects of major disasters. Auditors can measure the effectiveness of disaster-related aid in terms of results, the most direct examination of which can be achieved by consulting the intended final beneficiaries of the aid. To do this, SAIs can actively seek the input of the affected population by use of interviews and surveys, and by consulting civil society organisations2. The COVID-19 pandemic proved that even developed countries with well-established health systems were not ready to face such a crisis. On the other hand, various SAIs planned and conducted audits related to the pandemic management by their governments. Despite the fact that this pandemic is unique and has features that were unknown to almost all, there are various documents that could help auditors around 2 ISSAI 5520, Audit of Disaster related aid, paragraph 6.5 3 For more information, look at ISSAI 5520. the world to conduct quality audits related to natural disasters. *Some of these are ISSAI 5500, developed by the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), which provides general guidance on disaster audit. ISSAI 5510 and 5520 respectively covers the audit of the “pre” and “post” phases of natural disasters; ISSAI 5530 focuses on the specific risks of fraud and corruption related to natural disasters. The disaster management cycle shown in figure 2 divides the activities supported by disaster-related aid into six segments. Two of these relate to the preventive and preparatory measures which the government can establish and operate in advance of potential disaster. The other four segments describe the activities which follow the occurrence of a disaster. Actually, we are using all these ISSAIs in our audits regarding natural catastrophes. They are extremely valuable in terms of use as possible criteria for planning a “recovery”, “rehabilitation” and “reconstruction” after a natural disaster as they set potential deadlines for each phase.3 Figure 2. Disaster management cycle showing pre-and post-disaster phases Source: ISSAI 5520, Audit of Disaster related aid, paragraph 2.1 It has been almost 2 years since COVID-19 first appeared. Today, everyone has a better understanding of this virus and how to deal with it. Supreme Audit Institutions are increasingly addressing their audits towards natural disasters as they are causing more and more damage. This summer, fires such as in Turkey and Greece, floods in Germany and Belgium, or even earthquakes such as the one that occurred in November 2019 in Albania, which caused 51 casualties, are just some of the natural disasters with fatal consequences. Supreme Audit Institutions are increasingly addressing their audits towards natural disasters as they are causing more and more damage How can we deal with them more effectively? Mitigation and Prevention Risk assessment, prevention, hazard mapping, assessing vulnerability, structural Duration: Long-term Preparedness Contingency planning, early warning, evacuation, consolidate preparations for next disaster Duration: Long-term POST DISASTER ACTIVITIES PRE-DISASTER ACTIVITIES Recovery and Relief activities Individual efforts to rescue victims and recover property, provision of first aid, secure supplies Duration: Short-term National and International Response to Emergency Search & Rescue, security, food, water, shelter, clothes, medicine, trauma care Duration: Short-term Rehabilitation Restoration of basic services and functions Duration: weeks to months Reconstruction Full resumption of services plus preventive measures Duration: months to years Disaster