Thursday, March 17, 2011

Charitable Giving To Japan

Charities in the U.S. have raised $49 million for the Japanese cause in the six days since the tsunami hit — a small percentage compared with other recent disasters that caught worldwide attention.
The earthquake that decimated Haiti last year, for instance, prompted $296 million in American donations in the first seven days, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. In 2004, Americans gave nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami in the first week.

Part of the reason for fewer contributions may be the perception of Japan, which has the world's third-largest economy, as a self-sufficient society, says the philanthropy center's executive director, Patrick Rooney.

It could be that Japan is a wealthy country (even with the given economic problems there in recent years) that donations are low, but perhaps its also Disaster Burnout syndrome. That's what I call it anyway. People can only give so much, especially when we're called upon year after year, disaster upon disaster worldwide, not to mention here at home. Coupled with hard economic times and increasing taxes, one wonders when the limit will be reached. As American citizens, some of our taxes are used to help out countries in times of disaster.

So, when is our giving---any giving-- enough?


The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday that Japan has the financial means to recover from a devastating earthquake and ensuing massive tsunami.
"We believe that the Japanese economy is a strong and wealthy society and the government has the full financial resources to address those needs."
Asked whether Japan had asked for IMF assistance, Atkinson said: "Japan has not requested any financial assistance from the IMF."

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