Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Our Response to Disasters

A UN report has exposed the dire discrimination when it comes to aid and development in the developing world as compared to westerners caught up in natual disasters.

According to the UN, governments have pledged £125million to help 2.3 million people on the Democratic Republic of Congo, - or £50 per head. In contrats, the western world has offered £35 billion to the 500,000 Americans displaced by Hurricane Katrina, - the equivalent of £70,000 each.

Most UN members, lead by Britain and the US are still well short of their promises to spend 0.7% of Gross National Product on overseas development.

Other telling statistics included in the report are: £737 million donated to help 2 million people left homeless in last month's earthquake in Pakistan and Kashmir, - £370 each; £3.5 billion in foreign aid to the 2.4 million victims of the tsunami, - £1,500 each.

This is truely disgusting. I am both ashamed and angry about the apparant discrimination in aid relief and development support. I'll leave the last word to Oxfam director Barbara Stocking, who said, "The way rich countries respond to emergencies is scandalous. Is a child's life in Africa really worth 1,400 times less than a child in the West?"


Eddie said...

Hi Mark,
The figures tell their own story.
I was impressed by a letter I read on Ceefax. It said that the reason that the Pakistan earthquake didn't have the same impact in Britain as the Thai tsunami did, is because Pakistan isn't a holiday destination and that it "didn't come home," with British holidaymakers.
I think the writer has a point.


sandegaye said...

So sad that this country extends it's 'largesse' based on the shade of one's skin.
We'll listen to endless stories of Natalie Holliway being 'lost' in Aruba.. because she's cute & blonde. And yet the plight of Haitians? Uh.. no thank you.
The whole thing sickens me..

When I rule the world, it will be very different! ;o)

Mark said...

Eddie: I think you are probably right, and if the country or the people is not in our nation's interest, then who cares!

Sande: You've got my vote.