UPDATE 3: The CBC now reports that private Canadian donations have topped $70 million and Paul Martin says Canada will give “significantly more” than the $80 million already pledged.
The CBC reports from a Paul Martin press conference that Canadians have contributed $70 million so far and that his government will significantly boost its’ $80 million pledge in the coming days.
$70 million in private donations and counting.. from a country of 30 million… that’s over $2 per citizen. And the generosity keeps growing, there are reports of towns and cities trying to “adopt” devastated towns in the affected area so as to use it as a teaching tool for students while at the same time provide direct support to those towns. One of these towns is Gold River, on Vancouver Island. It’s a town that has known great hardship over the past few years as its’ main industry left and the town shrank. Now the town of 1500 is working to adopt a town in Indonesia.
The CBC also reports that a Vietnamese Budhhist temple in Burnaby that was being sold originally to raise funds for a new temple will now be sold with all money going to Thailand to help victims there.
The BBC is covering the snowball effect.
Germany is now pledging $674 million, the UK is going to “significantly boost” it’s 100 million in the next few days, Canada has declared a unilateral moratorium on all debt for the countries affected (other countries are seriously considering the same).
Here’s the link to the Australia pledge of $764 million.
I hope these lofty sums are backed up by real money!
First, I found confirmation of the Feds matching donations. It seems to be going through the Canadian International Development Agency, they are matching any funds donated to Canadian charities until January 11.
I’ve also read news reports thatAmericans can donate to Care Canada. Not sure if it applies to all charities… but if it means the Canadian government might match your donation, it might be worth trying to donate to a Canadian charity just in case! CIDA is matching up to $25 million in donations and I wouldn’t be surprised if they continued once that total was achieved.
It seems to be very tough to find a roundup of what the various countries in the world are giving, but in all cases it seems that the governments of the world, and their people have really stepped up. Canada has currently pledged 80 million but says that will increase on Jan 11 when the UN holds its’ donor conference. Canada is also send it’s Canadian Forces Disaster Area Relief Team (DART). This team has the capability to provide up to 200,000 litres of purified water a day, plus provide medical services and shelter to those affected. Normally the team is supposed to be deployed right away, before NGOs can get there and leave relatively quickly. But this time the Government was slow deploying the team… and it seems as though that was because they were preparing to leave it in operationg for a long time. Which is a great thing. I hope DART stays there as long as they are needed.
The US has, the last I saw pledged over $350 million. An amazing amount of cash… this is in addition to the indispensable military relief effort that they are providing in the area. It must be said that America is always one of the first to step up to the task of helping those caught in a natural disaster.
But that brings me to my last point which does not at all focus solely on Americans but rather on all of our governments in the world. On the CBC yesterday I heard that after the huge earthquake in Iran last year $1.1 billion in aid was pledged to help. Of that $1.1 BILLION less than 20 million has actually been spent.
That just shows how short our governments attention span can be, and why private aid/donations can be so much more effective.
I can only hope that the sheer magnitude of this disaster will ensure that all the governments involved will follow up on their initial pledges of relief (totalling over 2 billion now, and rising) and make sure that that money goes to help rebuild the lives of those devastated by this disaster.