Tsunami aid worth 7,100 dollars per person: study

GENEVA, July 14, 2006 (AFP) – The outpouring of international aid in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami translated into an average of 7,100 dollars per affected person, according to a new report Friday. The study by the Tsunami Evaluation Coalition (TEC), an international group of aid agencies, said that donors’ generosity contrasted starkly with spending in other disasters that failed to grab the headlines.

The 2004 flooding catastrophe in Bangladesh, for example, drew just three dollars per affected person.

“Emergency relief is given not only on the basis of need, but in response to political pressures and what aid agencies believe may be popular with the donating public,” said the group.

The tsunami claimed 220,000 lives, mostly in Indonesia, and left at least 1.8 million people homeless around the Indian Ocean.

The disaster sparked an unprecedented 13.5 billion dollars in aid donations.

Some 5.5 billion dollars of that was given by individuals, something the TEC said it applauded.

“The high-profile coverage of the tsunami led to the largest and fastest response ever,” the report’s author John Telford said in a statement.

“But the glare of public attention pressurised agen