Disaster Relief Accountability

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Friday, December 30, 2005

Disaster Relief Accountability

December 30, 2005

One year ago the world watched and responded to one of the most devastating disasters in history: a massive Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 200,000 people in 12 countries and left thousands more homeless.

The world responded with massive amounts of aid. But not we are told that one year later 80 percent of the 1.8 million displaced people are still living in temporary housing. This, despite $13 billion in relief pledges. How can this be?

It’s the same with those affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in this country. Thousands remain in tents and are still waiting for FEMA to supply promised trailers.

The United States continues to be the most compassionate and generous nation on earth. Our people respond to national and international tragedies as no other nation. But we should be demanding some accountability as to how the money is spent and whether it is reaching the people most in need. That isn’t asking too much, is it? Don’t the people in need, as well as those giving the money deserve at least this much?


Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.