As mentioned in the prior post, we are taking our trip to Sri Lanka as an example of how inefficient and problematic the process can be in getting money to those that need it in a disaster relief situation.
Firstly, these major charities lose a horrific percentage in “administrative costs“- ranging anywhere from 40% to 60%, so before your money has even arrived in the country, essentially half of it is eaten up already.
Secondly the government in Sri Lanka was (there’s been a change since last year) totally, utterly corrupt. The one-eyed “Madam” President was reportedly buying houses from Eaton Square in London to Shane Warne‘s house in Melbourne (for those who don’t know- Warne, Aussie, is probably the greatest spin bowler in cricket, of all time). And to justify the witholding of emergency funds to those who needed it most, the fishermen who had lost their homes (in the hundreds of thousands), an absurd law was passed declaring it illegal to build within 200m of the coast (supposedly in case of another tsunami- like a zillion to one chance), thus allowing the govt. a legal way out from immediately dishing out the funds to rebuild and reconstruct.
And thirdly, just the element of time & it being pushed down the list of emergency funding- how many other “disasters” has the world had since 2004 which also requires “urgent attention“? And so, from the mass of “do gooders” that we met in January, 2005, there remains a paltry (& jaded!) few as of today.
Originally posted on September 6, 2006 @ 11:30 am