"The horrific quality of infrastructure in the Philippines—even worse than countries in the region with similar levels of economic development—certainly has made these storms deadlier. Because the Philippines is one of the most unequal and corrupt countries in Asia, funds for housing projects, roads, and seawalls and other public monies routinely vanish into the pockets of political dynasties," writes CFR Senior Fellow Joshua Kurlantzick.
"After the tsunami, villages and towns across Asia abounded with tales of profligate and unnecessary donations. Some survivors reportedly received packages containing ski jackets, Viagra and, in Indonesia, some 75 tons of expired medications. Along this coast, many villages were similarly overwhelmed by an unanticipated windfall of fishing boats," Akash Kapur writes for Bloomberg.