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Thursday, December 30, 2004
On the Politics of Contributions

By Steven Taylor @ 9:31 am

There is a graphic in yesterday’s Montgomery Advertiser which shows the initial pledges for tsuanmi aid as of 5 am cst on 12/28/04. (I have looked online in numerous places, but haven’t been able to find it. ) In the graphic, which shows the initial US pledge of $15 million (with a footnote indicating that the total was actually at $35 million), we see that at the time, Japan topped the US with a pledge of almost $30 million. Third on the list was Australia with $7.9 million.

Other initial pledges included: $3.9 from the European Comission, $3.3 million from Canada, $2.6 from the Netherlands, $1.8 from Denmark, $1.3 from Germany, $150,000 from South Korea and $100,000 from the UK.

Now, these are the numbers that were released at the time that so many were jumping on the US for not giving enough. If the issue was sincere criticism for lack of contributions, where was the outcry for the small sums form elsewhere?

Of course, as I noted yesterday, the bottom line was that cush criticisms were noting more that ideologically motivated statements. Further, as I also noted, initial pledges tell you nothing.

Here are some of the latest numbers from Reuters:

AUSTRIA: Pledged 1 million euros ($1.4 million) in aid to the countries hit.

BELGIUM: Military plane due to stop at Dubai to load most of its cargo - UNICEF aid such as tents, vaccines.

BRITAIN: Pledged 15 million pounds ($28.9 million) to the devastated area and has sent plastic sheets and tents worth 250,000 pounds to Sri Lanka. Contributing 370,000 pounds to EU aid and $100,000 to World Health Organisation.

CANADA: Initial contribution of $C1 million ($814,000) to appeal for $6.5 million by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

CHINA: Offering 21.6 million yuan ($2.6 million) of aid to India, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Sent planes to Sri Lanka and Thailand with drinking water and medicine, part of pledge of aid worth 10 million crowns ($446,000).

DENMARK: Increased aid pledge by maximum 85 million Danish crowns ($15.6 million) after spending almost all initial 10 million crowns pledged. Aid will cover immediate needs - medical supplies, food, water, shelter - and reconstruction.

UNICEF flight from its Copenhagen depot taking 45 tonnes of supplies to the area, including oral rehydration salts and medical supplies for 150,000 people for three months.

EGYPT: Egyptian Red Crescent Society sending a plane with 500,000 Egyptian pounds ($81,000) worth of medicine and other aid as initial step.

EUROPEAN UNION: Ready to release up to 30 million euros on top of 3 million euros already allocated to IFRC.

FINLAND: Pledged 2.5 million euros spread among World Food Programme, UNICEF, WHO and IFRC. Local aid groups contributed further 75,000 euros. Finnish Red Cross has sent a field hospital with 15 staff to Sri Lanka and 31 aid workers to Thailand.

FRANCE: Foreign Minister Michel Barnier in Sri Lanka, then Thailand. Has earmarked 100,000 euros for relief, sent 16 rescuers to Thailand, 10 tonnes aid to Sri Lanka.

GERMANY: Doubling emergency aid to 2 million euros. Air force medical evacuation plane to set off for Phuket, two more planes chartered to take disaster relief teams, medicines and consular officials there. Germany’s largest utility E.ON to donate 1 million euros.

GREECE: Sending C-130 transport aircraft carrying 25 rescue workers to Phuket on Thursday to help with rescue operations.

Has sent plane to Sri Lanka carrying five tonnes of food and clothing, and offered 150,000 euros in aid to each of the two countries.

ISRAEL: Sent one medical team to Sri Lanka, one to Thailand. Military search and rescue team due in Sri Lanka, held up by coordination problems.

ITALY: Will send 2 Hercules aircraft, one to Sri Lanka, one to Thailand.

JAPAN: Pledged $30 million in aid, sent three navy vessels to Thailand to help rescue survivors.

KUWAIT: Pledged aid supplies worth $2 million, sent $100,000 immediate aid.

NETHERLANDS: Contributing 2 million euros to Red Cross-Red Crescent appeal, plus participating in EU aid programme.

NORWAY: Preliminary contribution of 50 million Norwegian crowns ($8.2 million) for emergency relief, including basic necessities, medicines, food, clean water and shelter.

POLAND: Earmarked 1 million zlotys ($336,000) for Polish NGOs involved in relief.

SAUDI ARABIA: Pledged $10 million aid package - $5 million of food, tents and medicine to be distributed via Saudi Red Crescent, $5 million for international aid groups such as the Red Cross and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

SINGAPORE: Contributing some $1.2 million to global effort, military medical teams and supplies ready to fly to Indonesia.

SOUTH KOREA: Raises aid to $2 million, may send military cargo plane to move aid workers and supplies.

SPAIN: Sent aircraft to Sri Lanka with first aid, sanitary equipment and 19 volunteers, promised 1 million euros.

SWEDEN: Sent 2 communications specialists to help U.N. relief efforts in Sri Lanka. Sending tents and communications equipment to the Maldives. Swedish Red Cross to contribute $750,000 to IFRC appeal.

TAIWAN: Pledged additional $5 million to South and Southeast Asian countries, after giving $100,000 to Indonesia, $50,000 each to Thailand, India and Sri Lanka. Sends more than 100 relief workers.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Pledged $2 million in aid and its Red Crescent society will donate 30 tonnes of food, blankets and clothing to earthquake victims to be transported over this week.

UNITED STATES: Pledged initial $35 million. Pentagon ordered 12 vessels to region, though no decision taken on their role.

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: Cargo plane flying from Kenya to Sri Lanka carrying 105 tonnes of supplies, provide aid to 150,000 people in north and east. Trying to raise more than 50 million Swiss francs ($44 million).

IMF: Intends to provide assistance, no specific pledges.

UNHCR: Initially distributing $380,000 of non-food relief items, including 23,500 plastic sheets for shelter, 24,500 plastic mats, clothing, towels and 20,000 kitchen sets.

UNICEF: Delivered 50 water tanks to southern India, 45-tonne shipment of water purification tablets and water systems due to reach Sri Lanka on Thursday. WHO and UNICEF said they were providing four emergency kits to Indonesia to cover 40,000 people for three months, providing shelter, food and clothing.

U.N. WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: Sends 168 tonnes of commodities to Sri Lanka, plus more than 4,000 tonnes of rice, wheatflour, lentils and sugar, enough to provide 500,000 people with emergency rations for two weeks.

U.N. DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME: Provided $100,000 each to Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, the Maldives and Thailand to help assess damage and coordinate emergency needs.

U.N. POPULATION FUND: Earmarked up to $1 million and extra staff to help health needs of pregnant and nursing women.

And, no doubt, more is to follow.

According to a statement I read from SecState Powell, US aid will easily cap $1 billion.

On the issue of comparaite generosity, see: Outside The Beltway : U.S. Generosity.

  • bLogicus linked with Earthquake-Tsunami Catastrophe Toll at 114,000
  • Nominal Me linked with BLOGS / NEWS OF THE DAY

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