U.N. Says West Came Through With Aid




 
--
Boots
 
January 11th, 2005  
SwordFish_13
 
 

Topic: U.N. Says West Came Through With Aid


Hi,

"Australia has pledged the most money $810 million followed by Germany's $660 million. Other major donors include the European Commission with $624 million, Japan with $540 million, the United States $350 million and Norway $183 million."

"More than 60 nations from around the globe have pledged extraordinary levels of money," Jan Egeland he said as he started a relief planning meeting with government ministers and other officials on how to use $4 billion in aid."

But the Question is Will the Counries Keep their Pledges Looking at the Past Record ................a Contry generally Gives Around Half of the Amount Pledged .

Quote:
U.N. Says West Came Through With Aid


GENEVA - The U.N. humanitarian chief who complained after the Dec. 26 tsunami that Western nations were often "stingy" said Tuesday the unprecedented outpouring of aid should mark the end of the world's record of giving too little, too late to help disaster victims.

"More than 60 nations from around the globe have pledged extraordinary levels of money," Jan Egeland he said as he started a relief planning meeting with government ministers and other officials on how to use $4 billion in aid.

"We are seeing an extraordinary effort, probably unique in the history of humankind, in meeting the needs of 5 million tsunami-affected victims."

Egeland had angered Washington by complaining in December that wealthy nations have often been "stingy" toward many countries with long-term relief needs.

"2005 has started better than any other year in recorded history in terms of human generosity," with donations coming both from governments and individuals, Egeland said.

U.N. officials said one of the purposes of Tuesday's meeting was to make sure that governments quickly come up with the cash to cover the donations they have promised to give. Often, they note, the real donations fail to meet pledges to aid the 20 million other people in dire need in "forgotten crises" elsewhere around the world.

"I hope this is the new standard how the world responds to people in need," Egeland said. "The bad past is behind us. This is the new level of compassion, solidarity, generosity."

He said he hoped the world now will pay as much attention to the people afflicted by other disasters such as the "AIDS (news - web sites) tsunami" or the "war tsunami" that claim large numbers of lives each year. One meeting Tuesday will discuss how to maintain interest in ongoing crises such as those in Sudan and Burundi.

The aid group Oxfam expressed caution, saying giving often fails to match pledges even with high-profile disasters such as Hurricane Mitch in Central America in 1998, when less than a third of the promised $9 billion materialized.

"In Afghanistan (news - web sites) in 2004, the United States delivered only $200 million of the $450 million it promised," an Oxfam statement said.

Oxfam spokeswoman Amy Barry said countries, on average, pay only 50 percent of their pledges. Also, many countries claim to be giving to one crisis by taking money from others, she said. Oxfam fears money intended for African relief may be shifted to Asia, she said.

"At the moment we're looking at Germany who have confirmed that all of the money that they're pledging is new money," Barry said. "Nobody else has done that so far."

The biggest donors, including Australia, Germany and Japan, were sending delegations to the meeting Tuesday. Some 78 other countries, including those hit by the earthquake and tsunami, were expected.

Signaling the need to keep tabs on the new aid money, the United Nations (news - web sites) already has announced it will accept the offer of outside accountants to track operations.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has offered its services for free to help create a financial tracking system to investigate credible allegations of fraud, waste or abuse, U.N. officials said Monday.

The $4 billion in pledges by governments, the World Bank (news - web sites) and the Asian Development Bank for tsunami victims includes not only cash for the humanitarian relief effort but also long-term development aid, reconstruction aid and loans.

Australia has pledged the most money $810 million followed by Germany's $660 million. Other major donors include the European Commission (news - web sites) with $624 million, Japan with $540 million, the United States $350 million and Norway $183 million.



The head of the U.S. delegation, Andrew Natsios, the administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, said, "We need to focus our efforts on coordination, on the logistical systems and on rapidly moving into the rehabilitation and reconstruction phases, working with the governments of the countries that we're hosted by."

Source
Peace
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