250,000 people died in the Tsunami but millions of Tsunami victims have received little aid and much of it is being held by the World Bank, UN bodies and charities. Agencies like Red Cross were critical of other charities vying for money and Britain is asking for a return policy. Personally I note that Medicins San Frontiere refused to take money for the Tsunami after a while but charities like Oxfam, Save The Children and others continued.
Sri Lanka received £1.75 billion but victims have been left without homes or access to clean water. Worse still, development companies are buying up sea front land for development. In the meantime, individuals trying to help build homes without charities find that dangerous building materials are being sold. Governments like Sri Lanka for instance are selling asbestos for essential building work after the disaster. This is not only expensive but dangerous, who regulates these markets and how can our money help if we are still putting people in danger? By verifiable accounts, some charities were doing little in areas like Sri Lanka and it was only after independent reports filtered back did they start to say the Government was blocking them.
Pregnant women were being told they had Tsunami disease and charged so they could not afford to buy essential items for their families.
Instead of donating money, I would ask that we think of our roles, is it time for us to evaluate how to really help people affected by natural disasters often caused by unethical practices of corporations that are supported by national governments. Is giving money the answer?
In a report by the Red Cross, of whom I am not a fan, it said the problem was that aid of £2.5bn more was given than was needed.