I’ve been reading up on the tsunami this morning and it’s just devastating. The death toll is reaching 40,000. What is the west contributing to the relief effort? Not much.
The United States prepared a $15 million aid package to the Asian countries, and the 25-nation European Union promised to quickly deliver $4 million. Canada promised $4 million with more likely to come.(found here)
Either someone needs to tell me that these are significant amounts and that it just looks insigificant on the surface or we are just pathetic. As a point of comparison, note that $882 million was spent on the 9/11 disaster (More interesting reading here). Or the $13 billion in hurricane relief. In watching the Business Report on PBS last night, a reporter noted that insurance costs wouldn’t amount to much because the majority of the victims were poor. This was the good side of the disaster. It’s like when Dick Cheney said that the most horrible thing about AIDS in Africa was the loss of generations of production. Because, by God, we need those diamonds.
I have been focused on myself of late too, but couldn’t we scrape together at least half a billion or so. And the combined EU countries could only come up with 4 million? Who are we? Do we only care about people of the fairer skin?