Aid scramble wasting Sri Lanka tsunami relief, think-tank says

International and local charities have wasted aid money meant for tsunami relief and slowed reconstruction efforts in Sri Lanka, an independent think-tank said Thursday. International and local charities have wasted aid money meant for tsunami relief and slowed reconstruction efforts in Sri Lanka, an independent think-tank said Thursday. The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) asked the Sri Lankan government to rein in the number of charities, many of which it says are in competition with each other and preoccupied with grabbing media attention.

Last year’s tsunami killed more than 31,000 people here and displaced nearly a million. Some 250,000 people still live in cramped transitional homes, despite international aid pledges topping 3.2 billion dollars.

“Reluctance to co-operate with government institutions and competitive behaviour towards others continue to hamper coordination and implementation,” said IPS economist Paul Steele.

Nearly 300 aid agencies capitalised on a huge international outpouring of sympathy for tsunami survivors and collected millions of dollars to rebuild and restore livelihoods along Sri Lanka’s devastated coastlines.

But an