Targeting Cyclone Relief within the Village: Kinship, Sharing, and Capture
This article investigates the targeting of cyclone relief within villages in Fiji. It focuses on how relief allocation is linked with informal risk sharing and elite capture, both of which are directly related to kinship. The results are as follows. First, food aid is initially targeted toward kin groups according to their aggregate shocks and then shared among group members. Right after the cyclone, when aid is scarce, households with damage to their housing and with greater crop damage are allocated less aid within the group. Instead, they receive greater net private transfers in other forms, especially in labor sharing. Consistent patterns are found in village, cropping, and housing rehabilitations. Second, there is no elite capture of food aid in the kin group, and instead, traditional kin leaders share food with others; however, non-kin-based community leaders capture aid when it is allocated across kin groups. Third, distinct from food aid demanded by all, tarpaulins demanded by victims only strongly target individual housing damage at the village level--not the kin group--independent of social status. As with food aid, victims with greater crop damage are given a lower priority. Implications for relief policies are discussed.
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