Half of Tsunami donations still unused: BBC

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

LONDON, Dec 19, 2006 (AFP) – About half of the billions of dollars donated by individuals, companies and governments worldwide to help the victims of the southeast Asian tsunami two years ago has still not been spent, the BBC said on Tuesday.

According to figures obtained by the broadcaster from a database compiled by the United Nations Department for Aid and Development, several foreign governments have also only given only a small proportion, and at times none, of the money they promised.

Of the 6.7 billion dollars (5.1 billion euros) pledged, about a tenth has yet to be delivered, and only 3.4 billion dollars has been spent thus far, the BBC said.

Among the countries that came up with a fraction of what they promised, China offered 301 million dollars to help Sri Lanka recover from the disaster, but has thus far delivered just one million dollars, the broadcaster said.

Spain pledged 60 million dollars to Sri Lanka, but came up with less than a million, while France said it would give 79 million dollars, but delivered just over a million dollars.

Kuwait had pledged slightly less than 10 million dollars to the Maldives, but has yet to actually hand over any money.

The United States has given about 38 percent of the m