How the tsunami aid stacks up

Amid charges of stinginess by the UN’s top humanitarian official, countries rich and poor have stepped up to help the victims of the world’s worst earthquake and tsunami in 40 years.

Poor countries have joined in the relief effort
Poor countries have joined in the relief effort

The United Nations’ emergency relief coordinator Jan Egeland at first hinted that rich countries were being “stingy” with aid then later tempered his remark.

But it drew a sharp response from US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who said: “The United States is not stingy. We will do more. I wish that comment hadn’t been made.” 

Japan has earmarked $40 million, the US has more than doubled its initial aid pledge to $35 million and Canada has promised $33 million to lead a string of countries – rich and poor – to roll out the world’s largest international aid operation for decades to devastated coastal areas.

UN Assistant Emergency Relief Aid Coordinator Yvette Stevens said the international aid needed over the coming months was very likely to exceed the previous record UN appeal of $1.6 billion for Iraq last year. 

South Korea has pledged $2 million in relief funds 

South Korea has pledged
$2 million in relief funds 

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies (IFRC) appealed for another $44 million in immediate aid.

Pledges poured in from traditional Western donors, as well as less common sources such as China, Brazil and Argentina, and even impoverished countries such as Cambodia, the UN said.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia said it would contribute $10 million in emergency funding while Cambodia donated $40,000 to four of the stricken countries.

The US military said it had diverted an aircraft carrier, other
ships, and at least 20 aircraft to Asian countries, including much needed air cargo capacity. 

Turned down

But as the toll climbed past an estimated 60,000, emergency
funding appeared to be less of a problem than coordination and stricken countries such as India and Sri Lanka even started to turn down some offers of aid.

Indian authorities, despite having to deal with more than 9000 casualties, joined the aid effort for other stricken countries, promising $23 million and sending helicopters and aircraft to distribute food, medicines and blankets.

Sri Lanka asked Israel to scale down a proposed 150-strong
medical team, saying it had enough doctors and rescue personnel, but welcoming urgent Israeli supplies.

The following is a selected list of contributions pledged:

AUSTRALIA: $27 million, five air force transport planes with supplies and medical teams as well as team of police.

BRAZIL: Sent air force plane with up to 10 tonnes of food and 6-8 tonnes of medicine to Thailand.

BRITAIN:  15 million pounds ($29 million).

CAMBODIA: $40,000.

CANADA: Government aid C$40 million ($33 million). Private
donations to non-governmental organisations such as Red Cross exceeds C$8.5 million.

CHINA: 21.6 million yuan ($2.6 million).

CZECH REPUBLIC: A plane sent to Sri Lanka with drinking
water. Officials said aid worth $444,400 would be sent.

EUROPEAN UNION: Ready to release up to 30 million euros ($41 million) on top of 3 million euros already allocated to IFRC.

FINLAND: Pledged 500,000 euros to the IFRC. Local
aid organisations have contributed another 75,000 euros. The Finnish Red Cross has sent a field hospital with 15 staff to Sri Lanka.

FRANCE: 15 million euros pledged and 110 tonnes of aid, along with 16 rescuers sent to Thailand.

GERMANY: 2 million euros. Three German planes to be dispatched to Phuket.

INDIA: Has promised over $23 million in monetary aid besides sending warships and aircraft to distribute food, medicines and blankets to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

JAPAN: $40 million pledged, more than 120 medical and rescue personnel and three navy vessels sent.

KUWAIT: Supplies worth $2 million pledged and $100,000 sent.

QATAR: $10 million

SAUDI ARABIA: $10 million package pledged, half to be distributed via the Saudi Red Crescent, and half for international aid groups.

SLOVAKIA: Sent plane with drinking water, tents and medicine
to Sri Lanka; aid worth 6.6 million Slovak crowns ($231,660). 

SLOVENIA: Donating 20 million tolars ($113,500) through International Red Cross and Crescent.

SOUTH KOREA: $2 million.

TAIWAN: $5.1 million.


UNITED STATES: $35 million and 12 vessels to region.

Source : Al Jazeera

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