“In fact, we’ve found that to avoid running into the UN, we must go out to where the quake and tsunami actually hit” (UPDATED)
The Diplomad tells us. EU Referendum’s looking at the UN request for more funds,
Despite reports, according to the Financial Times, that the outpouring of public donations and government pledges from around the world has created an embarrassment of riches, with the UN unable to spend what it has already collected, Kofi launched into his new role by demanding still more money.
In fact, the $5 billion so far promised amounts to about $1,000 for each of the estimated 5m people affected, much more than the typical annual income of a Sri Lankan fisherman or an Indian villager, let alone an African peasant. Needless, to say, though, UN officials do not want to stop the money flowing.
Barcepundit notices that some EU donations aren’t all that great,
Only 5 million Euros (roughly $6.5 million) are real donations. All the rest, that is, almost $70 million, are so-called Development Aid Funds, that is a scheme of low-interest loans (link in Spanish) by the Spanish government to undeveloped countries under the condition that they’re spent in Spanish products. It means they’re little more than mere subsidized exports, and will grow the affected countries’ foreign debt. NGOs are quite unhappy about this, and rightly so.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (via EU Referendum) observes that,
While U.S. service members were busy dropping supplies over Indonesia and Australian doctors were treating people immediately after the disaster, the Europeans were debating – or, even worse, looking for a date to debate on. The French health minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, finally said Europe was acting badly.
That is a telling comment. One widely known fact of European life is that its well-intentioned fixation on concerted action – preferably in tandem with the United Nations – does not always produce quick and consensual results. But now Europe is revealing a weakness where it always considered itself to have a strength: in humanitarian aid.
. . .
Europe lacks the strength, the presence and the matériel to make a major logistical contribution to the greatest international relief mission of all times. Efficient aid is not given by the nice, but by the strong.
Asia looks like a massive disaster area today. But it will triumph in the long run as a winner of globalization. Leaders in the area are learning day by day that the former colonial powers are losing ground. When this great natural disaster can be mastered almost without help from the Europeans, then they will be dispensable in other areas as well.
Don’t miss Arthur‘s round-up on the news.
UPDATE Victor Davis Hanson’s article, The Disenchanted American deals with the repercussions,
In this weird sort of global high-stakes charity poker, no one asks why tiny Taiwan out-gives one billion mainlanders or why Japan proves about the most generous of all — worried the answer might suggest that postwar democratic republics, resurrected and nourished by the United States and now deeply entrenched in the Western liberal tradition of democracy, capitalism, and humanitarianism, are more civil societies than the Islamic theocracies, socialist republics, and authoritarian autocracies of the once-romanticized third world.
Don’s miss the rest.