The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

February 8, 2010

Much of the money earmarked for tsunami relief even never made its way to victims

Many persons have expressed to me that they do not know who to trust or whom to give to now to help the poor and needy, etc., Major and minor Relief, non profitable  religious organizations as well, rather corporations tend to provide very little actual verifiable details to the donors  on how the donations are being spend, and actual spending are covered up, hidden, diverted  as well..

Following the Asian tsunami of 2004, many donors were surprised to learn some larger aid groups couldn’t spend all the money it had raised, while smaller ones struggled to fund their projects. Much of the money earmarked for tsunami relief never made its way to victims of the disaster and was used for other projects instead.
The Danish publication Ekstrabladet puts the total amount of money raised worldwide at approximately 75 billion kroner, the equivalent of 14.5 billion dollars.How then, is it possible that hundreds of tsunami victims are still homeless 5 years later? 

Aid money “disappeared”  In an interview with the Ekstrabladet today, the director of the Sri Lankan arm of Transparency International, Rukshana Nanayakkara says approximately $968,000,000 has “disappeared“. 

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Anti-Olympics activists are looking for answers after they say a freelance journalist was refused entry to Canada.  The Olympic Resistance Network says Martin Macias Jr., was detained by Canadian officials at Vancouver’s airport Saturday morning and questioned for several hours.  Activist Chris Shaw says the U.S. Consulate told them Macias was eventually denied entry and put on a plane for Seattle.  Shaw says he believed Macias was deported because he is a known anti-Olympic activist in his home town of Chicago.  A spokeswoman for Canada Border Services Agency wouldn’t discuss the specific case because of privacy issues.  Pennie Libby says Canada’s admissibility requirements will not change for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games.  Macias led a group that opposed that city’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics.  The Olympic Resistance Network says Macias was travelling to Vancouver for political events, including a two-day conference, and was to leave Vancouver Feb. 11, before the start of the games.  It says he was travelling with Bob Quellos of No Games Chicago, who it says was allowed to enter Canada.  Libby said in an email, that admissibility to Canada is considered on a case-by-case basis on facts presented by the applicant at the time of entry.
When Vancouver won the right to host the 2010 Winter Games, the Canadian government and corporate sponsors poured $110 million into “Own the Podium” (OTP), an ambitious program with the objective of putting Canada top of the Vancouver medal table.  Poverty activists say homelessness in Vancouver has increased 373 percent since 2002 when the city bid for the Games. Robert Bonner is not impressed that Vancouver is hosting the Winter Olympics and thinks the millions of dollars spent on the event would have better gone on alleviating problems like poverty and homelessness. “Spending C$178 million ($166 million) for a skating oval isn’t really impressive when you’re sleeping in a doorway,” Bonner told the “Poverty Olympics,” a colorful protest on Sunday to highlight Vancouver’s social problems. Vancouver, on Canada’s Pacific coast, has been ranked in surveys as one of the world’s most “livable” cities but it is also home to one of Canada’s poorest and most drug-infested neighborhoods — the Downtown Eastside. Sign-holding marchers chanted “Homes not Games” and other slogans as they made their way through the neighborhood to the rhythm of a small ragtag marching band and costumed mascots such as “Itchy the Bedbug” and “Chewy the Rat.”

“Our investigations show that this amount is the difference between how much money came in after the tsunami, and what was used on emergency aid and rebuilding the affected areas”.

Nanayakkara also said he believes a lot of the aid money is unaccounted for as a direct or indirect result of corruption, fraud and bribery.

Former president of Doctors Without Borders international committee Morten Rostrup, on the other hand, in the same article, said that even the money that was used to help the tsunami’s victims was grossly misused.

“Many aid organisations sent personnel and equipment, but many projects were based on the organizations’ need to profile themselves, rather than on what the victims needed”, he told Ekstrabladet. “A lot of the money that was given with good intentions went to something the victims did not need. A lot of mobile hospitals, for example, were flown into Banda Aceh but were never used. Meanwhile, it took a month for basic needs like water and sanitary facilities to be put in place



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