“Complexity of Conflict Leaves Donors Wary of Aiding Syrians”
The New York Times, Mar. 23, 2014, p.A16
“When an earthquake killed 150,000 people in Haiti in 2010, private individuals donated $20 million to the international aid group Mercy Corps to help victims, most of it within weeks of the disaster. During three years of turmoil in Syria that have produced a similar death toll, the organization has collected just $2 million for Syrians. The pattern bears out across aid agencies. World Vision, the Christian relief group, has collected $1.6 million in private donations for Syria, a tenth of the $16 million it raised for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. … Aid experts say that the conflict is so complex and intractable, the details of its brutality so nightmarish, that it is difficult for people to wrap their minds around it all. … The United States has pledged more than $1.7 billion to aid Syrians, and neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have shouldered huge burdens to welcome refugees. The United Nations’ appeal for Syria is the largest in history. But only a fraction of the pledged funds have been received, and international aid agencies fear that if they cannot build public sympathy, governments will lose the political will to give.”
Quickie analysis: A good look at how and why the Syrian conflict isn’t attracting the international humanitarian donations of previous disasters.