Facts speak louder than statistics

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Where The Tsunami Aid Went

There is a report in 'The Australian' claiming that tsunami aid money was spent on politics. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22974796-2702,00.html

Basically this means the aid money was spent contrary to how people believed it would be spent.

The Australian reports that among the activities that were listed as tsunami relief included a "travelling Oxfam gender justice show" in Indonesia to change rural male attitudes towards women.

This is one of the reasons I didn't donate to any of the aid agencies because I didn't believe that the money to go where it should. In any case my donation was made for me by the Australian Government and also the RACQ. The RACQ donated a sum of money, without consulting the membership, to the UN relief efforts.

I emailed RACQ asking for an explanation of why they donated to the UN given how I believed that most of the money would go on administration costs than to the people who need it. RACQ did not reply. I think the donation was just an exercise in looking to do the right thing than actually being worried on what really happens. A little like the Kyoto protocol in that respect.

But back on track here do I have any harsh words for Oxfam and the other groups aid groups about the way they used the money? Not really, I didn't donate money to them and any one who did donate money to any group should have checked that group out before handing over money to them, if you don't check them out you can't really get upset when they don't use the money the way you expected them to.

In retrospect it would have been a better idea to give money to the various navies that helped out, in particular the U.S. navy. Their vessels had all the equipment that was needed to repair the damage and the people to do the job and when they were there what they did was actually help people who needed help by getting food and water to them. No other little extras of debateable value, no putting forward an image of help, just genuine help.

Absolutely brilliant.