Donations for Haiti Keep Coming In
Twelve days after the fundraising for the earthquake victims in Haiti started, the Swedes have donated nearly 15 million US dollars, according to the Swedish Fundraising Council. That makes it the biggest fundraising cause in Sweden since the tsunami in 2004.
So far, there is no risk that too much money will be ear marked for Haiti, since the needs there are so vast, says Maria Ros Jernberg, communication manager at the Fundraising Council. But experience from the relief effort after the tsunami shows that it is important to direct donations to emergency funds, and not just to one single cause.
Maria Ros Jernberg thinks that it is the intense media coverage of the earthquake that has meant people have donated more than otherwise. Perhaps another reason, she says, is that Haiti has 9 million inhabitants just like Sweden.
According to Finn Norgren, from the aid agency Radiohjälpen, the geographical location of a disaster does not matter much in these instances.
"But there is something irrational about it all. We had a war in Gaza a year ago, which was terrible, but it is hard to get people to donate money for something that has been going on for a while. There is a kind of tiredness and resignation: 'can we really do something - nothing is happening anyway politically'," says Norgren.
"And to start asking for money to solve the conflict in Darfur would be difficult. There has been so much talk about it, and there is very little will to solve the problem."
"Haiti on the other hand,"says Norgren "is very concrete. It is an earthquake and not politically controversial in any way."