Other problems befalling the reintegration process derived from institutional funding arrangements and the parallel process of post-tsunami reconstruction. The BRA's capacity for long-term planning was compromised by the annual basis of its funding. Since its inception the BRA has had to make decisions bearing in mind the uncertainty of continued funding, and more significantly, it cannot commit to long-term allocations or the release of funds in tranches.
The BRA was, of course, operating in the same context as the massive effort to reconstruct post-tsunami Aceh, and in the footprints of the leading post-tsunami recovery agency, the Agency for Reconstruction and Rehabilitation (BRR). The BRR has enjoyed incomparably more resources and funding, a ministerial mandate and technical assistance from experts from all over the world. For example, while €7000 (2007 rates) would be allocated for the reconstruction of a house destroyed by the tsunami, only €3500 would be allocated for the same house destroyed in the conflict. Simultaneous but unequally resourced processes led to an uneven pace of reconstruction and an unnatural divide between post-tsunami and post-settlement recovery at provincial and community levels. Lessons learnt in one process were not incorporated into the other, as the reintegration effort has remained largely disconnected from the broader stream of planned social and economic development.
Agencies mandated to address post-tsunami reconstruction have been careful not to become involved in the post-conflict reconstruction. Post-tsunami funding has hitherto remained rigorously restricted to tsunami-related reconstruction and has not allowed for integrated work addressing both tsunami- and conflict-related damage. One of the consequences of this bifurcation has been an uneven development between the hardest-hit tsunami area, namely Banda Aceh and the south-west coast, and the most conflict-afflicted areas on the north-east coast and in the central highlands.
International organisations were initially reluctant to get involved in the reintegration process. Those that did have tended to provide either direct assistance to former combatants and victims of conflict or technical assistance to the BRA. Few or none have provided assistance to the local governmental agencies such as the social affairs department, housing department, health department and so on, in order to form a programme linked to longer-term development and service provision.
With funding from the European Commission, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) designed a reinsertion and reintegration programme for 2000 amnestied prisoners and 3000 former combatants. In its initial phase the programme covered a health check-up, small grant, a set of clothes and toiletries; the next phase included skills training and in-kind assistance. But as the post-tsunami recovery evolved and created an enormous labour market in Aceh, many former combatants were hired by the BRR and became involved in projects as labourers or contractors. In a number of cases former combatants are alleged to have extorted money from reconstruction projects or even a standard share of the contracts. Many INGO and donor reconstruction programmes have reported instances of disruption to contractor construction activities in villages, usually involving violent threats against workers and sometimes leading to the suspension of works for lengthy periods. Most of these occurrences appear to be related to the demands of individuals or small disaffected groups for financial gain, employment of favoured individuals or preferential purchase of materials from local cartels. Broadly speaking, crime rates in Aceh have increased significantly since the signing of the MoU. Illegal logging is also an emerging market providing quick revenues in domestic and nearby international markets.