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Tuesday 11 January 2005

UN Moves to Guard Against Tsunami Aid Corruption

The United Nations is adopting new steps in its global tsunami-relief campaign to guard against improprieties like those alleged in the oil-for-food program for Iraq.

Among the measures in the works are a way to let the public to track every aid dollar via a Web site and the drafting of new rules to protect U.N. staff whistle-blowers.
The world body is applying lessons learned from the now-defunct humanitarian aid program for Iraq by adopting measures to ensure "greater accountability and transparency" in the effort it is coordinating to provide relief for victims of last month's Indian Ocean tsunami.

Source: Reuters via Yahoo News
6 Comments Post a Comment
Blogger LH said :

Waves of dangerous aid

I have been involved in logistical operations and in surveying the quality of various commercial shipments, and was greatly concerned by recent news reports of whole shipments of clothing sent to Indonesia as aid was found to contain household rubbish including torn-off women’s bras, and several large metallic engraved awards among other things! I think it is appropriate to be aware of hidden dangers some ‘aid’ material could pose.

I welcome and appreciate all the sincere efforts made by the world community, renowned international organizations and the compassionate general public of many countries. Yes, it is an emergency situation, you have to rush aid to the suffering and to prevent further calamities like outbreaks of diseases etc. But still, no one should be allowed to dump unchecked god-knows-what in Sri Lanka and other tsunami hit areas -intentionally or unintentionally they may deliver damages as well. It seems that while some organizations could be dumping secondhand clothing, other countries and organizations are even trying to use these opportunities to get credit for ‘providing aid’, and to improve their image in the international community while dumping the stuff which could have been rotting in their backyards for years.

Are there any govt organizations controlling this aspect of the massive influx of aid materials in the affected countries:

I could identify some major threats:
- Clothing, toys and household items sent sometimes seems to be secondhand clothes and one has to be careful as any person with various easily transmittable decease as a skin deceases could have given them away. Usually, all European companies engaged in the SecondHand clothing trade are required to have a certificate of disinfect ion for each consignment. This usually gives details of how exactly the items had been disinfected. In Sri Lanka and Indonesia where the garments industry is thriving there shouldn’t be a problem for clothing the affected people as even aid money could be used to purchase them cleaner clothes. It would be a great shame and insult if children and adults in these countries are allowed to live in soiled used clothes and suffer from unknown long-term illnesses.
- Medicines and doctors –in some countries such as former soviet countries they have very poor quality drugs and medical care, which even their own citizen refuse to use. Also counterfeit drugs, products had been improperly stored, contaminate by infections and radiation and containing dangerous elements are wide spread.
- Medical equipment and supplies – could be defective, partly used, or some products could also be contaminated by various infections, radiation and contain dangerous elements.
- Food items, there are possibilities some products had been improperly stored, contaminate by radiation and contains dangerous elements.
- Building materials – could also be contaminated by radiation and can contain dangerous elements, asbestos dust and mercury etc.

It must be made compulsory to get a preliminary approval from a quality controlling organization in Sri Lanka (after a simple detailed checking of packing lists etc) before any consignment is shipped or air lifted to SL–they should ask for more specifications and clarifications if needed.

After arrival of shipments, each consignment should be inspect for radiation contamination –(Radiation level measuring equipment are small, and very easy to use, so it shouldn’t hamper the movement of aid materials to needed areas)
They should take samples from each consignment for later thorough tasting in a laboratory.

The other danger posed is to the security of these countries: The latest news I heard ( today 10th Jan) was of negotiations to charter several Russian Antonov cargo aircraft reportedly to deliver 1000’s of coffins to bury the victims…the other carriers are supposed to have refused to take this cargo…. Who would need so many coffins today (10th January) when the masses of the dead are already buried? Or, is it a pretext for some other type of delivery?

Tue Jan 11, 02:15:00 PM IST  
Anonymous Anonymous said :

I'm 12 and I'm Jackson in S.C. and i'm donating over $23. If you are a tsunami survivor I'm proud of you. there is a donation box in Mrs. Stahl's 7th grade class so on friday the money in the box will go to the Red Cross,to help the survivors.

Tue Jan 11, 06:43:00 PM IST  
Anonymous Anonymous said :

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tue Jan 11, 06:43:00 PM IST  
Anonymous Anonymous said :

The UN is a corrupt organization. What part of this are you people failing to understand?

You should form your OWN Diaster team with reps from all affected countries and relief providers. The U.S., that is doing all the heavy lifting, along with Australia and New Zealand and then the NGO's [forget the odious UNICEF].

Part of the task is making sure NGO's and other volunteers are not running off with supplies and other life-saving equipment.

Best Wishes,

A concerned American Veteran

Tue Jan 11, 10:18:00 PM IST  
Anonymous Anonymous said :

Where are the reps from OPEC? Why aren't they helping their fellow human beings with their massive oil revenues?

Affected countries should STOP using the U.N. They do nothing but get in the way and use up resources instead of providing any real help.

They are leeches and totally corrupt!

Tue Jan 11, 10:22:00 PM IST  
Anonymous Anonymous said :

It is OK NOT to thank us, THE U.S. of A.

We do what has to be done.

Where is France? Germany? Spain? Russia? China? Arabia?

No where to be found, as usual.

The UN - Corrupt, useless, criminals. Beware of your valuables around these guys!

-- Americans have responded generously. The Chronicle of Philanthropy estimates $324 million have been donated by American citizens and corporations.

-- More than 14,400 U.S. military personnel and $20 billion in military assets are involved in Operation Unified Assistance at a cost of $5 to $6 million a day.

-- Almost 6 million pounds of relief supplies and equipment, including water, food and medical supplies (non-medicine), have been delivered to the region.

-- 25 ships, 37 cargo aircraft, 8 patrol aircraft and 51 helicopters are involved in the relief effort. U.S. aircraft have flown more than 835 sorties.

-- Approximately 150 USAID personnel are on the ground. USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Teams and the U.S. military continue to conduct needs assessments and provide supplies and essential logistic support.
PS - The 1,100+ feet USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN aircraft carrier is providing 400,000+ gallons of clean, fresh water a day from its twin nuclear reactors.

How much has the UN provided????????????????


Tue Jan 11, 10:26:00 PM IST