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Is France "stingy"?

 
 
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 09:42 am
U.N. muckety-muck Jan Egeland recently claimed that the US and other "rich" Western nations are "stingy" when it comes to providing money for humanitarian crises. He has now claimed his comment has been "misinterpreted."

Just looking at the pending tsunami disaster in Asia, the US has already pledged $35,000,000 in "preliminary aid" to the region. UK, Japan ($30 mil), Australia ($27 mil), Saudi Arabia ($10 mil), Germany ($2.7 mil), and Canada, have all pledged large sums. France has pledged $135,000.

Isn't France missing a couple of zeros in that sum? Not that it much matters, but they have lost 14 countrymen to this disaster, which is more than the 12 US citizens confirmed dead. Of course many are still missing, and the death toll is at 80,000 now and rising.

Are there any Francophiles out there who can explain this?

Quote:
French Tsunami Toll 14 Dead, 35 Missing-Minister

Tuesday, December 28, 2004 3:23:03 PM ET

PARIS (Reuters) - The number of French victims of southern Asia's tsunami disaster has risen to 14 and at least 35 people are missing after being swept away by giant waves, Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said on Tuesday.

"At the moment I can say there are 14 French dead in this tragedy for sure, 35 or 37 missing who we are searching for and there are 105 French injured," he told France 2 television from the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, where he arrived with aid supplies earlier on Tuesday.

"There are probably dozens of French we are searching for and don't know where they are," he said.

"Many French and Europeans left on vacation without saying when or where they were going. So unfortunately we have to consider these numbers to be provisional."

Barnier was due to continue to Thailand on Wednesday morning to bring aid supplies and survey the damage from the giant wall of water triggered by an earthquake in Sumatra.

The French Defense Ministry was sending eight experts in identifying bodies and a military airplane that will fly over the Maldives and the Thai coast to search for people cut off by the flood and for the bodies of victims.

Paris has earmarked 100,000 euros ($135,400) for initial rescue efforts in Thailand. It planned to send 16 rescue workers to Thailand on Tuesday and 10 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka in the next few days, the ministry said. ($1=.7386 Euro)
© Reuters 2004. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.


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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 21,704 • Replies: 482
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blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 09:47 am
that is so unfair Tico...it's my understanding that the French are preparing to send thousands of giant cakes to feed these unfortunates..... :wink:
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 09:52 am
I don't know what's up with France, and I'm not a francophile that I know of, but there is a difference between pledged and earmarked. Also, the EU (which I assume includes money from France) is giving. Another resource...

Quote:
The following is a selected list of contributions pledged:

AUSTRALIA: $27 million, five air force transport planes with supplies and medical teams as well as team of police.

BRITAIN: 15 million pounds ($29 million).

CAMBODIA: $40,000.

CHINA: 21.6 million yuan ($2.6 million).

CZECH REPUBLIC: A plane sent to Sri Lanka with drinking
water. Officials said aid worth $444,400 would be sent.

EUROPEAN UNION: Ready to release up to 30 million euros ($41 million) on top of 3 million euros already allocated to IFRC.

FINLAND: Pledged 500,000 euros to the IFRC. Local
aid organisations have contributed another 75,000 euros. The Finnish Red Cross has sent a field hospital with 15 staff to Sri Lanka.

FRANCE: 100,000 euros earmarked, 16 rescuers sent to Thailand and 10 tonnes of aid to Sri Lanka.

GERMANY: 2 million euros. Three German planes to be dispatched to Phuket.

INDIA: Has promised over $23 million in monetary aid besides sending warships and aircraft to distribute food, medicines and blankets to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

JAPAN: $40 million pledged and three navy vessels sent to Thailand.

KUWAIT: Supplies worth $2 million pledged and $100,000 sent.

QATAR: $10 million

SAUDI ARABIA: $10 million package pledged, half to be distributed via the Saudi Red Crescent, and half for international aid groups.

SOUTH KOREA: $2 million.

TAIWAN: $5.1 million.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: $2 million.

UNITED STATES: $35 million and 12 vessels to region.



http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/3FEBA6A3-D338-4176-860E-8BEE68C83127.htm
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 09:58 am
Bi-Polar Bear wrote:
that is so unfair Tico...it's my understanding that the French are preparing to send thousands of giant cakes to feed these unfortunates..... :wink:


Yes, but are they also sending champagne?

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention those 16 rescuers they're sending. Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 10:00 am
Ticomaya wrote:

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention those 16 rescuers they're sending. Rolling Eyes


...and the 10 tonnes of frenchy stuff. Or maybe that's the cake and champagne.
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 10:03 am
well it ain't razors or deodorant....
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 10:05 am
Well, I don't know the above sources, but

Quote:
La France va affecter 15 millions d'euros à l'aide internationale pour les pays du sud-est asiatique
Source

Besides that, the one about Germany is incorrect as well:

Germany spends 20 million Euros, some dozens personal are are already there, sent in dozens of planes.

And as already said above: the EU-aid is paid by the EU-member states.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 10:10 am
BTW: 35,000,000 USD = 25,763,492 EUR
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 10:17 am
I think it could still be a little early to start doing comparisons. But kudos to the big donators and those sending rescue teams.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 10:21 am
And actually, I really can't believe that anyone is using this disaster as a "money-spending-championship".
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 10:31 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
BTW: 35,000,000 USD = 25,763,492 EUR


had to rub that in huh Embarrassed Sad
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 10:37 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
And actually, I really can't believe that anyone is using this disaster as a "money-spending-championship".


As if you haven't done the same thing when you considered that the US hadn't properly ante-d up.
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 10:37 am
Walter, I know you have defended France in the past, and you know I tend to not look favorably upon them, but the early aid figures from France were stark. I'm not sure what you meant by a "money-spending-championship," but the "stingy" comment was made by someone with the UN, another one of my "favorites." Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 10:43 am
But the stingy comment was about all western nations excluding scandinavian countries and applied to earlier pledges of aid to developing nations and not to aid to the tsunami victims.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 11:51 am
Ticomaya wrote:
Walter, I know you have defended France in the past, and you know I tend to not look favorably upon them, but the early aid figures from France were stark. I'm not sure what you meant by a "money-spending-championship," but the "stingy" comment was made by someone with the UN, another one of my "favorites." Rolling Eyes

Quote:

Bush defends US response to tsunami

Mark Tran and agencies
Wednesday December 29, 2004

The US president, George Bush, today rejected accusations that the west had been "stingy" in its offers of aid for victims of the tsunami that wreaked havoc on coastal communities around the Indian Ocean.
In his first comments, three days after the disaster that has taken more than 75,000 lives and made millions homeless, Mr Bush said the initial US grant of $35m (£18.2m) was "only the beginning of our help". But he did not announce an immediate increase in aid.

On Monday, Jan Egeland, the UN's emergency relief coordinator, said the west had generally been "stingy" in its aid to poor countries. Speaking from his Crawford ranch in Texas where he is on holiday, Mr Bush criticised Mr Egeland without naming him.

"I felt like the person who made that statement was very misguided and ill-informed," Mr Bush said. "In the year 2004, our government provided $2.4bn in food and cash and humanitarian relief ... that's 40% of all the relief aid given in the world last year."

On future US aid for the tsunami victims, Mr Bush said: "There will be an assessment of the damage so that the next tranche of the relief will be spent wisely ... our government is fully prepared to continue to provide assistance and help."

But the accusations of stinginess appeared to have hit home as the US initially announced a grant of $15m. By today, the amount had more than doubled.

"The United States will continue to stand with the affected governments as they care for the victims," Mr Bush said. "We will stand with them as they start to rebuild their communities. And together the world will cope with their loss. We will prevail over this destruction."

The president, who spoke to the leaders of India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia, said: "I assure those leaders that this is just only the beginning of our help."

Mr Bush also said the US would consider all requests for aid, including a German proposal for a debt moratorium for Indonesia and Somalia. Earlier, the German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, said he would propose a moratorium for the two countries' existing Paris Club debt.
Source
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 11:55 am
Quote:
But the accusations of stinginess appeared to have hit home as the US initially announced a grant of $15m. By today, the amount had more than doubled.


The tail wags the dog, eh?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 11:59 am
Asking whom?
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 12:00 pm
The British press.
0 Replies
 
JustWonders
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 12:04 pm
And....bigotry trumps disaster relief, apparently.................

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4130599.stm

Sri Lanka rejects Israel rescuers

Israel has cancelled plans to send a 150-person rescue mission to Sri Lanka after the devastated island objected to the military composition of the team.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2004 12:08 pm
You know that has very little to do with bigotry, right? At least according the article I read earlier, anyway.
0 Replies
 
 

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