This news item has the headline “UN SAYS TSUNAMI DONORS MOVING WITH RECORD SPEED”.
International donors have moved with record speed to meet a near $1.0 billion appeal for immediate aid to victims of Asia’s tsunami, with over 70 percent already raised, the United Nations said Tuesday.
“This has never happened before that two weeks after a disaster we have $717 million that we can spend on immediate emergency relief effort,” Egeland told a final news conference.
The news item points out that the $717 million comes from 80 countries. According to this post from The Diplomad, the US has pledged about the same amount, and we’ve been spending more than $5 million a day by using our military to move the aid to the affected region. So far as I know, the United Nations still hasn’t fed a single refugee.
I found it interesting that the article discussed ways that the UN was thinking of implementing so people could track what happens to the money. They make no bones of the fact that the Oil for Food debacle has caused this sudden concern for transparency.
It looks like the UN is hurting due and trying to shore up their damaged credibility.
In closing, I’d like to point to this BBC article, which says that the UN’s own watchdog agency has confirmed that UN troops have been sexually abusing the people they’ve been tasked with protecting. Some of the victims were children, and it would appear that the abuse is still going on even though the UN knows about it.
I suppose the victims of the tsunami should thank their lucky stars that the US military is at the fore when it comes to aid.