Aid Agency: Stop Donating

Aid agency: stop donating (News.com)

Australian branch of aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors without Borders) has become possibly the first in the world to ask donors to stop pledging money to its tsunami appeal. The local MSF branch paused its appeal after reaching its $1 million target in just three days. It decided it would be breaching its ethical code to collect money if it could not be used for its designated purpose, a spokeswoman told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“We can only send a certain number of people at a time. We can’t rush more over because we have to co-ordinate with MSF teams from other countries,” Dorothy Griffiths told the newspaper. Australia’s MSF team has 300 volunteers but so far it has been able to send only one doctor, a nurse and three logistics experts to Sri Lanka, and a doctor and a water sanitation engineer to Indonesia.

Interesting. One would think this would be a widespread issue: There’s plenty of need to go around but only so many rapidly deployable resources.

FILED UNDER: Asia,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. carpeicthus says:

    I’m sure it will be. I’ve donated some money already, but it’s equally important to keep donations ready for the long haul, when you can see where new needs open up, before contributing to an unusable surplus. We saw this with all the surplus blood donated to the Red Cross after 9/11 — valuable overall, but not for the specific effort.

  2. carpeicthus says:

    I’m sure it will be. I’ve donated some money already, but it’s equally important to keep donations ready for the long haul, when you can see where new needs open up, before contributing to an unusable surplus. We saw this with all the surplus blood donated to the Red Cross after 9/11 — valuable overall, but not for the specific effort.

  3. carpeicthus says:

    grr.

  4. anjin-san says:

    Putting the excess cash in a trust fund for future rebuilding and support of orphans should solve the problem.

  5. I applaud their integrity – this is something a lot of people or groups simply wouldn’t have done, but it’s refreshing.