'Stingy' response to other disasters

Mathew Little

Donations by the international community to the world's worst humanitarian disasters are almost 10 per cent down on the levels they attained this time last year, according to Oxfam.

The aid agency says that, although governments have given millions of dollars for tsunami disaster relief, other UN-designated emergencies have been neglected.

The UN estimates that it has only 4 per cent of what is needed for the world's 15 worst crises in areas such as Uganda, Chechnya and Palestine.

Oxfam director Barbara Stocking said: "The tsunami has shown that when the world wants to deal with a humanitarian crisis it can mobilise massive resources and save lives. So far, the global response to the world's other emergencies has been stingy by comparison."

Figures from the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs show that governments have given $500 for each individual affected by the tsunami, but just 50 cents per person affected by the civil war in Uganda.

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