- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Michella Howa
Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2005 at 8:18 AM
As the fervor dies down and the media stops their fanatical coverage of this event, moving on as they inevitably do to the next celebity basketball match or the next pentagon press release, what will happen to the tsunami victims?
Washing Away the Lies about Disaster Relief
Countries ravaged by debt and poverty need more than two weeks of the world’s attention
By Michella Howe
[This article was published in: The Portland State University Vanguard, January 7, 2005. Michelle Howa can be reached at: email@example.com.]
Last week’s tsunami served as a stark reminder that natural disasters can bring out both the best and worst aspects of human nature.
Like the rest of the world, I watched the rapidly rising death toll obsessively, crying when the video footage showed people being ripped from their tenuous grasp on solid structures by the surging water.
Like the rest of the world, I tried in vain to comprehend what at least 150,000 dead plus at least a million homeless or displaced actually means.
And, like the rest of the world, I made a financial contribution to the relief efforts to help those affected find access to water, food, shelter and medicine with the hope that the already astronomical number of lives taken by this astounding catastrophe doesn’t grow any more unbearable.
Yet, there is a dark side to this amazing worldwide effort to assist those affected by this disaster.
As the fervor dies down and the media stops their fanatical coverage of this event, moving on as they inevitably do to the next celebrity basketball match or the next Pentagon press release, what will happen to the tsunami victims?
If the past is any guide4 to the future, countries may fail to deliver quickly enough or at all the aid promised in the recent aftermath as has happened in Afghanistan and Liberia.
And while the combined world pledges may seem like a lot, one’s perspective changes with a fuller understanding of the affected countries’ financial situations and the different types of relief countries pledge.
While some countries still provide direct aid in the form of cash or sup[plies, many instead provide debt relief, allowing the “relieved” countries to write off or push back debt payments. Debt relief reads well in the financial ledger but its actual benefit isn’t as clear-when you consider the magnitude of the debt problems that existed before the tsunami.
For example, according to a recent Telegraph article, last year, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand paid 10 times the relief amount pledged in debt repayment, and in Indonesia, 35 percent of government spending was for debt repayment, while only 10 percent went towards health and education.
Furthermore, according to a report issued by the United Nations a couple of weeks ago, around 25,000 children die a day, or more t6han 10 million a year die from malnutrition and curable diseases. Are their lives less valuable? Are they less worthy of our5 assistance than the tsunami victims? Where is their aid?
The disgusting, dark underbelly of the brilliant outpouring of support for individuals and governments around the world is that tens of millions of people die every year from avoidable situations: poverty, hunger. You’ve heard it all before.
The sad fact is that soon the average citizen will forget about the tsunami victims, and without his or her watchful eyes, the governments will silently withdraw their pledges of aid, and/or insist on repayments of money they have given, continuing the cycle that cripples any attempts for underdeveloped countries to join the first world.
And yet the United States government still is unwilling to pledge more than a small fraction of what it spends yearly on the war machine currently killing Iraqis and U.S. soldiers to try and save the lives of these impoverished and displaced people.
The most frustrating part about the reaction to the tsunami is how it shows how much people of all races and classes really do care about each other while simultaneously exposing just how unwilling, afraid or ignorant those same people are of the need to restructure our global village, to redistribute wealth and power. This alone will erase unnecessary death, terrorism, poverty and hunger.
Natural disasters will always happen. No warning system will ever be enough to predict every possible curveball that nature may throw at us, but we can work together for a world in which we can truly join together and avoid the power struggles and half-truths that interfere with creating an effective response to such extreme disaster, as well as the millions of everyday disasters that don’t make it to the headlines.
Report this post as:
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress??
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
Paraphysique de l'autorité
Two Podcasts on fbi corruption
Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS
More Breaking News...