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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

U.N. Asks Tsunami Promisors to Pay Up

Nations promised billions of dollars, but not many ar keeping their pledges so the U.N. Says More Cash Needed for Tsunami.
The United Nations said governments have only given a fraction of the money they pledged for tsunami aid and warned that more cash is needed to fund long-term reconstruction efforts. In Sri Lanka, corruption allegations continued to hamper relief operations Tuesday.
Nations have pledged $977 million, but only $360 million has reached the world body's coffers, said Margareta Wahlstrom, special envoy of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

"This is our key message to government donors: Please convert your pledges into hard cash in the bank. It's only cash in the bank that makes it possible to do work on the ground," she said Monday in Geneva.
Although the United Nations is not short of funds to maintain its humanitarian relief operations, it warned that money is still needed in the long run for reconstruction...

...The State Department said last week that Washington has given nearly $119 million out of $350 million it has pledged in tsunami aid.
(italics added)

Note, it's a shortage of long-term funding, not emergency funding that is being discussed.

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