The U.S. - though it is often presented as being the most generous nation in the world, has now been shown to be at the bottom of the barrel when it
comes to relif aid concerning the tsunami relief effort. The U.S. donation currently equates to 12 cents per American citizen.
Bush and his officals have defended their relief aid by pointing out the support being given by the U.S. armed forces, yet the international community
has yet to be receptive to this argumentation.
The US government is contributing $35 million of the half-billion dollars that the world's developed nations are donating to the tsunami relief
effort, and many Americans believe -- as President Bush put it earlier this week -- that their country is being its typical ''generous,
As of yesterday, the amount the United States has pledged is eclipsed by the $96 million promised by Britain, a country with one-fifth the population,
and by the $75 million vowed by Sweden, which amounts to $8.40 for each of its 9 million people. Denmark's pledge of $15.6 million amounts to roughly
$2.90 per capita.
The US donation is 12 cents per capita.
The perception that America is the most generous country in the world is one held by a majority of Americans, according to a 2001 poll by the Program
on International Policy Attitudes based at the University of Maryland. The think tank, which studies public attitudes toward various international
topics, found that the average American believes that the United States spends 24 percent of its budget on assistance to developing nations, more than
20 times the actual figure. Even when researchers told those being questioned that foreign aid does not include military assistance to other
countries, the average response was that the United States spends 23 percent of its budget on foreign aid.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
The situation seems interesting. While private donations have been incredible, the United States government seems to be facing a major public
relations disaster. Ther are certainly finding themselves in a money cruch - and the need to donate relief is certainly not helping the matter.
It is rather interesting that rather than donating money to international relief organizations, the US appears to be using the same tactic they use
for everything else: throw the military at the problem.
Chances are that the US is indeed donating a vast amount of more aid than is percieved - given the number of personel and military aid being sent, but
it seems that unless the US contributes more money to the problem, bush is going to be facing an even more unfriendly international arena.
[edit on 31-12-2004 by maegman]