Tsunami Aid

As we are aware, the tsunami(s) that struck Southern Asia are a horrendous event. I have even heard that they may be the single most devastating disaster in recorded human history. The death toll is estimated to reach well beyond 150,000 just from the direct effects and may well climb far higher should disease, starvation, etc take hold. Hopefully, such a situation will not come about and any further loss of life can be prevented.

However, here in Canada, I have seen some degree of criticism levelled towards my government and that of the United States. Now, I believe that the Canadian government has reacted slowly, that resources that should have been despatched immediately were held back due to dithering and that liaison should have been set up immediately with the affected countries to determine their needs and where we could be most useful. For example, we have Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART) that has two water purifiers that can each produce 50,000 litres of pure water a day from utter muck. Obviously a valuable asset that could have been put to great use days ago. Basically, I believe that the criticism of my country is justified, whether from Canadian citizens or others. We dropped the ball, but we are starting to get in the game.

More troubling to me is the criticism levelled towards the United States. I was wondering what the thoughts of other board members were. Do you believe the US is doing enough or falling short? And if you believe they are falling short, why do you believe so? I can't say that I know what is "enough" in a situation like this, however, in the early hours of the disaster the news reports did not quote horrendous numbers of deaths like 150,000. I don't think any agency or government had any real inkling of the magnitude of the disaster, so the initial amounts of aid money pledged by almost all countries have been significantly increased as the horror of the events revealed themselves. But, and I have no reports to base this one, I would believe that the US, along with any UK, Australian or any other nations forces would have responded immediately to assist civilians in such dire circumstances. I certainly do not mean to leave out or ignore any country for assisting. I am sure that if the Russians, Japanese, Germans or Upper Mongolian tribes had forces in the area, that they then assisted. But my point and my question is, I have heard criticism of only two nations response, those being Canada and the US. I believe the criticism levelled at Canada is basically justified. But, is the criticism levelled towards the US justified or simply an anti-American knee-jerk reaction. Personally, I think the US government and especially the US people will be seen, in retrospect, to be most generous during this terrible time. So, let me know what your thoughts are and why.

That said, I sincerely hope that the troops from all countries assisting there are able to return home safely and that the poor souls suffering through this awful ordeal will find comfort from their God or Gods and that help will reach them very quickly.
I'm in a cranky mood. My response? Fcuk 'em. Every year we lose people in floods, fires, hurricanes, avalanches, and tornados, and my personal and local favorite, volcanos.

The "International Community" has yet to send so much as a padre on a swaybacked mule or a box of saltines.

Over and over the US is blasted for it's interference with and the Americanization of other countries, and the for having the audacity of asking for support.

Had enough. Don't think we should send aid at all.

And P*SS on the freakin' Norskies. Or was that Finns? Either way,

Personally, I think the US government and especially the US people will be seen, in retrospect, to be most generous during this terrible time.
They usually are very generous in times like this, but always the most criticised.

What countries sent disaster relief after Florida was hit by four Hurricanes this year? Was there even one? What was the UN position on it?
Of course the destruction and loss from this Tsunami doesn't begin to compare with any recent national disaster.

Isn't this sort of aid one of the main reasons for the UN? How fast have they acted, other than rhetoric and criticism?

edited for typos
RCSignals said:
What countries sent disaster relief after Florida was hit by four Hurricanes this year? Was there even one? What was the UN position on it?
Of course the destruction and loss from this Tsunami doesn't begin to compare with amy recent national disaster.
Hi, RCSignals.

As you point out yourself with your usual good sense, the difference between Florida and the tsunami is the scale of the disaster.

And the fact that the affected country was well able to provide the necessary response within its own borders. I doubt that the Governor of Florida would have been that pleased to see the UN turning up with their famous "black helicopters"! Both the UN and USAID/OFDA did, however, quite rightly assist in affected Caribbean nations. http://hurricane.info.usaid.gov/
I find it hard to beleive that this was posted in the Naffi.

But, anyway if the tables were turned and a Tsunami hit the UK France, Germany et al would any of the Srilanken and others donate anything....................

I dont think so

Hence I give nothing!

Feck em
Issues of sovereignty prevail. The less developed a country, the more they seem to make things difficult for official aid and to a lesser extent NGOs.

HMS Chatham and RFA Diligence have been tasked with disaster relief but they have to store up and get there first. Ships don't appear by magic were they and their companies are required. They may have been 'just around the corner' on a map but in reality, the distances are huge.

Maybe some countries affected don’t give that big a fcuk (this is the NAAFI) about their own people so are not in a hurry to get offers of help turned into good deeds. Thailand seems to be responding properly to offers of help and is able to incorporate foreign aid (men and materials) into its relief effort. The Thais have that organisation, flexibility and pragmatism. Others don't.

There are matters of areas of responsibilities, coordination and chain of command for foreign militaries working on disaster relief. Language difficulties anyone? To some people, whatever you do to help, it’s not enough. Rather than jumping on a plane with a case of Evian and some blankets and demonstrating how easy it is to help, those who moan loudest are writing letters of complaint.

Some countries will (it seems) turn down aid from countries they don’t like.


A 150-member Israeli aid delegation canceled its mission to Sri Lanka on Tuesday, after the country - one of the hardest hit in the Asian tsunami disaster - apparently refused to accept the Israeli team, Israel Defense Forces officials said.
When the Kursk sank in the Barents Sea, western maritime expertise and technology offered may have given the submariners a chance of rescue but the Russians prevaricated and help was accepted too late. The submariners died. There was more concern shown by the sailors of other nations for the plight of fellow mariners than was shown by the Russian State.
Extracts from story by James Kirkup in today's Scotsman. Full story at http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=4652005 The Scotsman are donating the entire cover price from their Wed 5 Jan edition to the DEC's Tsunami Appeal.
UN admits survivors face 7-day wait for aid
UNITED Nations chiefs have admitted that, a week after the Asian tsunami disaster, the supply chains to deliver vital aid to millions of desperate survivors are still not in place.

The admission from the UN - which has been given responsibility for managing the biggest-ever humanitarian relief effort and the $2 billion fund behind it - came as aid workers and politicians warned that supplies risk going unused because there are no means of transporting the aid to those who need it most.

The urgent need to set up proper distribution networks prompted ministers to put British military logistics experts on standby to deploy to the disaster areas around the Indian Ocean.

Jan Egeland, the UN’s disaster relief co-ordinator, last night warned that it could be another "three or four days" before an "up and going good food programme" is set up in Sri Lanka.

In Indonesia’s Aceh province - the worst-hit area - the delays could be up to a week, Mr Egeland admitted. That could mean that some of the most desperate of the survivors of the Boxing Day quake, some 1.8 million in all, will have waited a fortnight before getting help from the international community.
Amid warnings that vital consignments of drinking water, food and clothing are sitting undelivered in crates and lorries, the expertise of the British Army could be crucial.

The British military has enormous experience of the sort of complex supply operations that are needed to help victims in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. During 2003 operations in Iraq, British military logisticians constructed and maintained supply chains across the country that kept more than 10,000 troops fully supplied and fed.

Two Royal Navy ships are heading for Sri Lanka and an RAF transport plane has been allocated to the relief effort. One ten-man British Army reconnaissance team is already in Sri Lanka and another was yesterday en route for Indonesia. Both are expected to report back within days.
Meanwhile, a Labour spokesman confirmed that events aimed at getting the party’s general election campaign under way had been put on hold.

Party strategists had pencilled in today as the ideal opportunity to steal a march on the Tories and set the political agenda for the week.

But the spokesman said last night: "The decision was made last week to cancel the national and regional events we had planned for this week, in light of the tragic events in Asia."
Bloody Tiprat: On review, you are quite right, I should have posted this in the Current Affairs forum. My bad and I apologize.

Sabre: No problem with you not seeing the thread as deserving a "sensible post", but then why respond at all? Just seems odd.

Anyway, thanks for the posts provided and hopefully more will follow. Cheers to all.
I called Tsunami aid and offered

1. a mouth organ
2. three chamois leathers
3. A piece of royal dalton
4. a welsh recipe book
5. some mudflaps for a 1982 escort pop
6. a connect four set (three pieces missing)
7. a set of novelty buttocks

They turned down the offer, so there must be plenty getting through...
Henry_Tombs said:
Colin Powell has already been on the telly tonight telling us how generous the US have been with aid.
got that wrong Henry he said aid(s)
this is the naafi right? not current affairs......... :roll:

So generous MDN, Royal Doulton no less :lol:
To our American cousins there is no comparing the Tsunami disaster to any national disaster in the US, Australia or elsewhere for some time. I'm conveniently ignoring regular disasters of biblical proportion in Iran. It is indeed unfortunate that you are unaware of the foreign assistance that is provided when you do have your disasters. For example every second year or so when California decides to have forest fires on a grand scale Australian volunteer fire fighters fly themselves and their equipment over to help out saving your citizens lives. I myself who am very fond of Americans donated clothing towards the victims of the hurricans. It is indeed arguable that the recipients victim status is now all the greater. It does not surprise me that the average American remains blissfully unaware of this support.

By the way the British 'Initial Aid' in these situations remains the most useable and practical. Rolls of plastic sheeting have greater use (catching rain water, shelter, wrapping dead bodies, etc) than sending limited supplies of bottled water.
This was posted in the Naafi Bar, so you asked for this...

Geerog Bush has just redeployed the marines arround Falluja to Newcastle. Whitehouse sources report that he was shocked and angered at the killing of 150,000 innocent people by the Toon Army.
It is clearly dreadful that Brits have been snotted in the big wave thing, however:

1. The afflicted nations have some of the worst human rights records on earth. They don't care about their people - why should we?

2. There are loads of people living in these countries - virtually none of whom contribute anything to the human race at all. Planet Earth can safely do without several million of them IMHO.

3. These nations exist solely on tourism. Watch how quickly they all come back online and start pursuing the tourist dollar with more fanaticism than ever (if possible).

4. They live in countries surrounded by the 'ring of fire'. They get hit by a tsunami. It has been this way for thousands of years. Nothing will change the way plate tectonics works. So why is everyone (especially the press) so possessed of the need to find some guilty politician who could have saved everyone by coming back from holiday early?? Does Bliar have a special magical wand that stops waves in their tracks??

I am standing by for the inevitable whinging/hand wringing sentimentality that has gripped the British public over the last few days, but I hope that ARRSE is above all this and can maintain some perspective.

1 British soldier dead in Iraq is a tragedy - 100,000 dead in Thailand is a statistic.


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