Camps: At What Price?

This paper began as a reaction to the bulldozing of infrastructure in refugee camps after the refugees leave. The author tried to learn how much this infrastructure was worth by consulting publications of NGOs and UN agencies and then contacting these organizations individually. It quickly became apparent that this information was not available. The chaotic nature of humanitarian crises, combined with a multitude of actors, a lack of coordination and a general absence of accountability or transparency effectively make it impossible to determine the cost of camps. This paper concludes with some observations on the implications of this situation and a few suggestions to humanitarian organizations for improvement.