Temporary Villages for Refugees

Costs, Problems and Opportunities

by J. W. Higgins

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An analysis of the costs and planning and operating requirements for establishing temporary villages for South Vietnamese refugees while their home villages are being secured for GVN control. Establishing a village for 100 refugee families should cost between $150,000 and $175,000, mostly for construction materials. Annual costs for a village having no outside income are projected at about $325,000 for the first year and $260,000 per year thereafter. These costs can be reduced significantly by locating the village where jobs are available and by developing village production. Planning for economic viability and for qualified, reliable administrative personnel is a prerequisite if the operation is to achieve any degree of success. Refugee villages, if properly administered, offer an opportunity to expand the educational system and, in some cases, to develop a national consciousness as well as a labor force where workmen are in short supply. Among the factors that can reduce the effectiveness of a refugee program are administrative inefficiency, graft, diversion of supplies, economic conflicts with residents of the area, and continued Viet Cong strength within the refugee population.

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