Saturday, January 01, 2005



Success

See what a little public pressure can do? In the face of sustained criticism from Americans who unfavourably compared the US's contribution to tsunami aid to those of other countries (and the cost of his inauguration parade), the US has upped its contribution tenfold, to US$350 million.

I've adjusted the table accordingly.

14 comments:

And yet it is NZ that is apparenty the least generous country in the world (of those used in the following study).

http://www.cgdev.org/rankingtherich/aid.html (the graph in the bottom right corner)

Of course I'm sure there are many ways to measure these things - but these guys are not "trying to pick on NZ" it just turns out we come last.

Posted by Genius : 1/01/2005 02:35:00 PM

Anyway back onto the Tsunami where we seem to be making a reasonable contribution - the big question is WHO are the countries which are NOT donating? (as opposed to who is the most generous of the generous)

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?t=100&v=67

here are the ones that I notice are missing (from those with GDP per capita of about south korea or better) or below about 30c a head (of course the EU countries should have recieved another 10c a head via the EU) and the big contributors to the WB (USA, japan etc I guess) would theoretically be boosted by that contribution (250 mil)

Missing (dont know)

Luxembourg
Iceland
Hong Kong (China however was reasonably generous considering its average gdp - which excluded it from this list)
Greece
Slovenia
Korea, South

I think these countries did donate a bit but I dont know how much

Ireland
Netherlands
Italy
Portugal

and these ones donated but not much relitively speaking

Austria
Japan
Germany
Taiwan
Israel

Posted by Genius : 1/01/2005 03:47:00 PM

countries offering physical aid such as USA japan italy and israel Australia etc are a bit mistreated in this analysis of course.

Posted by Genius : 1/01/2005 04:29:00 PM

And yet it is NZ that is apparenty the least generous country in the world (of those used in the following study)I know. There was a chart in the LA Times today which shows we don't really live up to our image of ourselves either (and then there's the Carter Foundation index, though IIRC it has a serious flaw in counting bombing people as assisting the third world - but I digress).

I'm planning to do a post on it once I've dug up a few figures.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 1/01/2005 04:57:00 PM

US has said from day one that it would be increasing its aid. As with every other country it made an initial contribution to get the wheels moving and has made a more substantial contribution as assessments of the disaster are made. GPT

Posted by Anonymous : 1/01/2005 05:20:00 PM

In fact some days ago the US said they suspected they would spend $1billion in total.

Once a minimum threshold has been met (I'd say $100 million) in the early stages, how much is pledged for now means nothing except making people feel good. There is no capacity to spend it in the next few weeks. In fact the major need is to get water and troops in to help, which is not even included in the totals pledged.

The extra money from the US is a good thing, but it was always going to happen. It didn't need to happen for a few more weeks, as most will be reconstruction and take months or years to spend. I think it is a pity that people are using a disaster to score petty points.

Posted by David Farrar : 1/01/2005 06:11:00 PM

Once a minimum threshold has been met (I'd say $100 million) in the early stages, how much is pledged for now means nothing except making people feel good. There is no capacity to spend it in the next few weeks.Sure - but OTOH getting governments to make commitments now means they can be held to them in the future. Relying on spend-as-you-go runs the risk that aid will dry up the moment this falls off the front page.

I think it is a pity that people are using a disaster to score petty points.I don't think pointing out the stinginess of some wealthy countries' international aid contributions is a petty point. But I'll leave that to the citizens of the countries concerned, and focus on my own government instead.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 1/01/2005 07:32:00 PM

The entire point NRT is that there was no stinginess on the part of the US it was made clear right from the start that this was just the begining and they expected to have to give big. The left is so laughable the way they try to make everything political. The NYT editorial that started this little bush-bashing kefuffle was hilarious in its self-righteousness. They haven't got over their man losing the election. NZP

Posted by Anonymous : 1/01/2005 08:31:00 PM

The entire point NRT is that there was no stinginess on the part of the USObviously a large number of Americans would disagree with you there. They wanted to see a large response from their government, and they wanted to see it sooner rather than later.

Now, if only the Germans would step up properly...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 1/01/2005 08:47:00 PM

check out www.diplomad.com for the reality on the ground. USAID and the aussies are actually getting stuck in rather than waffle about who will pledge what. credit to helen for getting the C -130 committed, even if it does break down.

The US could have gone ahead and pledged $1bn straight away. what difference would it have made

Posted by sagenz : 1/02/2005 08:30:00 AM

actually the address is http://diplomadic.blogspot.com/

Posted by sagenz : 1/02/2005 08:30:00 AM

pledges and talk are far from worthless. while we all agree that action (in the form of money and resources actually put where it's needed when it's needed) is fundamental, the discussion that goes around it is crucial.

the governments all watch each other, watch the public mood, corporations watch the governments, watch where there is kudos to be made, etc.

ideally, everyone with money and conscience would weigh up what they are willing and able to sacrifice based on the need they perceive. in the real world, the noblest instincts are mediated and managed by the public context.

it is wonderful that the US always planned to give more - but don't blame those who scorned the initial miserly US pledge for the US govt's failure to make its commitment to further aid more clear.

the critics of the US you cite may be "playing politics" - but any criticism of them must be. unless there is another motivation to condemn those calling for aid to the afflicted?

Posted by Anonymous : 1/02/2005 01:55:00 PM

(oh, that was me.)
- from the morgue

Posted by Anonymous : 1/02/2005 01:58:00 PM

... or maybe it just took a few days to assess the requirements of the problem and to adjust accordingly the initial estimates for U.S. cash contributions.

By your logic, Idiot, perhaps we should knock Indonesia on the head for so grossly underestimating their death toll in the day or two following the disaster.

Anyway, have no fear: America will continue to bear the lion's share of the world's humanitarian costs, just as it has done for decades. Our bags of corn and grain will continue to feed the hungry, regardless of which initials Khofi Anan's clerks have stenciled on their sides.

We'll even keep buying their stencils for them, won't we, boys?

Jason G. Williscroft
The Dead Hand

Posted by Jason G. Williscroft : 1/03/2005 04:59:00 PM