Thursday, December 21

World Powers Spain, France and China Reneg on Promised Tsunami Aid

Let me start by saying that even the US has failed to pay everything that it has pledged, only paying 38% of the aid that it has promised, but that is far and away better than what these other world powers have ponied up, or better put, not ponied up:

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: It's been almost two years since the Asian tsunami struck. More than 200,000 people were killed, a half-million were left homeless. But figures released by the UN reveal only half the aid money pledged has reached the devastated region. From London, Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: The biggest shortfall is in the money promised by governments. Spain said it would give $60 million to help the disaster victims. France pledged $79 million and China $300 million. And yet, according to the UN, each of these countries has only coughed up about $1 million apiece. - Marketplace

I wonder just how that happens. Maybe aid organizations should ignore pledges made in the future and only announce the amounts that have actually been given. The US received a huge amount of pestering and criticism over it's initial donation totaling $350 million, but at least they have made a deposit to the bank account. In addition, USAID has been there since the start actually assisting in the recovery and remains there to this day. The $350 million does not include the $656 million that was also allocated by Congress for long-term via the "Tsunami Recovery and Reconstruction Fund". The two amounts total over $1 billion in aid.

What is the problem with France? This should be right up their alley. No military involvement required. No controversy, other than the current one for not paying. China's problem is that they should have provide moral support and the $300 million they pledged would be better spent back at home. Perhaps they were too quick in opening their mouth.

Spain? I will just blame their non-payment on the simple fact that the Socialists are in charge and have no intention of giving Tsunami victims another cent.

Tsunami victims still waiting for aid - Marketplace (Includes Audio Story)
USAID Rebuilds Lives After the Tsunami - USAID (Includes breakdown of the donation funds)

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