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Tsunami Aid is Mass Hypocrisy

January 5th, 2005 Leave a comment Go to comments

It is becoming clear that the death toll from the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami will probably exceed two hundred thousand. As we all know it made amazing viewing and shocked and belittled all of us before our environment. The giving that has resulted though essential is ultimately very hypocritical.

Since the last waves washed ashore on December 26th, approximately three hundred thousand children have died needlessly from starvation, lack of water or basic medical care elsewhere in the third world. Indeed every week the death toll from these causes exceeds that of the recent catastrophe.

These deaths do not make such good viewing and so, every week, they are largely ignored. Daily the numbers mount, not decrease, and nobody promises several billion dollars to aid them. The Tsunami will likely make this death toll even worse through stretching of aid budgets and agencies, people’s limits to giving and a lack of focus on these issues.

Rather than knee-jerk reactions to TV’s grubby visuals, I wish this disaster had made people stop and think. To a great extent it was the third world poor who subsisted on these coastlines and died. We have to change the basis of our economics from top to bottom to solve these issues – not just give a little spare change as thanks for the holiday entertainment.

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