CorruptionIndiaNatural DisastersPoliticsPovertySouth Asia

One year past Tsunami: WHERE's the MONEY?

Its been an year since the Tsunami.. and lots of money poured in for help.. but has it all gone to where it belonged?? This is an article regarding this issue!

One year ago — Dec. 26, 2004 — a tsunami walloped a huge swathe of the world from Indonesia all the way to Africa. Some 300,000 people were swept to their deaths, from the grandson of the king of Thailand and the daughter and granddaughter of film director Richard Attenborough to Njoroge, a Nairobi car mechanic, who picked the wrong day for his first visit to the beautiful East African coast and died a statistical fluke, his country’s solitary fatality from the disaster.

Across the Western world, TV viewers reached into their wallets, chipped in the best part of $5 billion, and left it in the hands of the United Nations and the “nongovernmental organizations,” the world’s self-proclaimed moral consciences.

You’ll recall that, immediately after the tsunami, Jan Egeland, the Norwegian bureaucrat and big U.N. humanitarian honcho, gave a press conference attacking the “stinginess” of wealthy nations, like the Great Satan. Given that, at that moment, Mr. Egeland’s vast, permanent 24/7 “humanitarian relief” bureaucracy was focusing on giving press conferences in New York, while the only actual “relief effort” was conducted ad hoc by the Pentagon and the Royal Australian Navy, his remarks seemed a little churlish, to say the least.

But the trick when something unexpected happens is to make it fit with your general theory. Thus, if you’re one of those wacky cultists worshipping at the Church of Global Warming, the tsunami obviously has something to do with America not signing the Kyoto Treaty. Likewise, if you’re Mr. Egeland, the point of the tsunami is to emphasize his own indispensability. A bunch of Yanks and Aussies saving lives and restoring water is no use to him unless they do so under his agency’s aegis.

But even folks who aren’t on the Turtle Bay payroll have somehow bought into the curious proposition that helping people without going through the U.N. bureaucracy — saving lives unilaterally, so to speak — is illegitimate. So Mr. Egeland and the like-minded got their way: Billions and billions of dollars were contributed to tsunami relief. And what happened to it? A year later, of the 1.8 million left homeless, only 20 percent have been rehoused. The rest are still in temporary shelters.

Well, OK, but what about their communities’ economic revitalization? If you go to the South Indian coast near the town of Nagapattinam, you’ll see a fleet of brand-new fishing boats sitting on the beach. A Western charity had them built and delivered. But they’ve never been used because they’re not seaworthy, having only two skins of fiberglass.

In Sumatra, relief agencies gave interest-free loans to boatbuilders to replace the region’s lost vessels: The replacement skiffs now sit unsold in Indonesian boatyards because nobody thought to also give interest-free loans to the fishermen, who can’t afford to buy the new skiffs.

read more

This is one reason why I have very little respect for the non-profit sector as a whole.. its one section of the world society which has little acocuntability … and OVERSIZED HALOS! The amount of cheating and money laundering that goes on in this sector pales the deeds of Enron execs in comparison!

Get Drishtikone Updates
in your inbox

Subscribe to Drishtikone updates and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Also read:  When two NRI young men lived on Rs 26 a day in India to experience the Poverty line

Desh Kapoor

The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh - the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about his views and "drishtikone".

Related Articles

Get Drishtikone Updates
in your inbox

Subscribe to Drishtikone updates and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Close
%d bloggers like this: