Why aid in disasters?

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Member since: Oct 04
Posts: 859
Location: At my desk

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 20-01-05 14:33:56

Here's my question - Some 160,000+ people died in the recent tsunamis in the Indian ocean. Most countries have donated huge amounts in aid. Add to that the donations by societies, individuals, corporations etc etc. around the world ,and we can see that the aid figures runs into billions maybe.

I do not know the number of recipients of that aid, but hazarding a guess, I will peg the figure at about 1,700,000 or even 2,000,000 assuming 10 survivors to every dead.

Now, chronic, persistent hunger kills 24,000 people every day, or over 8 million each year and Three of four who die are younger than five.

I do not know the amount of aid made available to these people, but I am almost sure that the per capita aid to the latter group is far lower than that made available to a tsunami victim.

So, the question is why this disparity?

Why does an individual who does not usually contribute much to charity,(and this I have observed) decides on donating specially in time of a disaster.

Why do shops start collecting specially for tsunami when at other times there might not be any collection box on their counters?

Why do corporations and individuals make special drives only when a tsunami or earthquake occurs and not as much at other times.

Why does a figure 164,000 people dead in tsunami make them behave differently than a figure of 8,000,000?

What is the psyche behind such actions, that allows people to not treat the two occurances with commensurate attention and emotion?

The Cynic

Member since: Sep 04
Posts: 591
Location: canada

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 20-01-05 15:04:43

I don't know why PM of Canada had to pay visit to tsunami effected areas, because he is million $$ contributor. During the donation collection process some news paper quotioned about the over donation to tsunami cause. I don't kow how many residential / residence were destroyed or anybody has accounted figure. Business house / hotels destroyed have already resumed repair work without any aid. Where money is going to be spend?

Try overtaking child's imagination

Member since: Sep 04
Posts: 914
Location: Toronto

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 20-01-05 16:07:27

Canada has made pledges that run to about $500 million for tsunami relief. Yet a couple of days after making these pledges, the government announced a program to lay off hundreds of nursing staff, ostensibly to cut costs.

Its particularly irksome that the government goes around tossing away tax payer dollars, when our own health care system and our cities are short on funds. Unfortuantely, not too many people seem to have the conviction to actually stand up and talk about these issues directly….

Member since: Mar 03
Posts: 2606
Location: Toronto

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 20-01-05 16:09:34

Could be a combination of few reasons:

First and foremost - Fear. At such times man suddenly realises that he is not above nature and such a thing can happen to him in any form. Psychologically, he starts imagining what all must have happened (add to that the media blows it up like the 'tech bubble' with not much substance behind it in comparison to other things happening in the world). Somewhere in his mind, man imagines those horrific moments and feels compassionate.

Secondly, just like valentine's day, fathers' day, mothers' day, what not day, media and the general public gives it undue importance (I am not saying tsunami - but natural disasters in general) - and like any other thing, some people just do not want to be left out - so they donate like others are doing.

Thirdly - peer pressure - something like the reason above but a bit different. Since everyone else in the office is doing it, I should do it too - though not wanting it from the inside!

Fourthly and very important - These are those windfalls for the not-for-profit and charity organisations which need these funds to keep feeding the persons who run those organisations. It is a known fact that in most charities, the actual pay out of aid is not more than 20-30% (Crenshaw - there is no documented evidence I have, though I am sure there is evidence, but it is a number I pick from what I read and hear).

A psychological phenomenon - man becomes immune to what he sees every day, whether good or bad. Like you go out for a picnic to a beach/sea shore and you simply are amazed to see the sea and the sun set etc. Once you start living near the shore, you don't even remeber when you actually looked out of your window to actually enjoy the beauty of the sea or sunset! AND SO, the persons dying of malnutrition are a everyday phenomenon - nothing special and so nothing special is required (though the Canadian govt does it indirectly - takes away from the able people who work, to give it to able but unwilling to work:p ).



Advice is free – lessons I charge for!!

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