January 09, 2005


Some disturbing news regarding misuse and exploitation of the tsunami donations are cropping up which disheartens me a lot.

Fake collection efforts by email and by fake collection jars by crooks were seen all over Europe and elsewhere. A woman who registered the domain name tsunamirelief.com says she was conned to donate it by someone who then tried to sell the site name for $50,000 on eBay. Daniel Brett slates Oxfam for their pointless effort in sending the victims thousands of "£60- family aid packages" consisting of plastic buckets, soap, toothpaste, detergent, toilet paper and 55 tonnes of bottled water, which are available at one tenth of the cost in the countries affected by the disaster. He points out that millions of pounds are being spent on airfreighting out resources that could be sourced from Singapore, China, India, Thailand and Malaysia. Buying more from the tsunami affected countries would be a booster for these countries economies and help them in recovering from the mammoth loss.

The saying goes: "there will always be people who will try to profit from catastrophes for their own personal enrichment". But I think the aid agencies and the police need to be more careful so that the donated money can be properly utilized for the caused. And above all let everybody raise questions like this so that the donated money cannot be exploited more.

Update: Parth argues that in countries like India only about 15% reaches the beneficiary in government schemes. So effective aid efforts should be People to People, not Government to Government.


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