Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sweet Charity

Americans are very giving people. And I'm proud to say that even though Mississippi is consistently ranks lowest in most charts: it's people are generous and place Mississippi in the top of the charts for charitable donations(per capita). No one wants to see people suffering and the natural instinct is to help. The caveat, "let the buyer beware", is no less true for charitable donations or governmental financial aid. There are watch-dog groups that rate organizations on how well money donated ends up in the hands of the people it is meant for. The Governmental Accounting Office does the same. After Hurricane Katrina, the GAO showed where to close to a billion dollars was misappropriated.

These watch-dogs are not trying to discourage donations or aid. They serve a vital function to ensure donations and aid are going to the people who need it. This brings us to the most unwatched aid. There seems to be accountability for how this aid is spent. Billions of dollars have been sent in an effort to improve the lives of these people and yet there is very little to show for it other than the beautiful mansions and very large bank accounts of those who pocket the money.

I'm talking about the billions of aid for the Palestinians. Whether it is aid from the European Union, the UN, or other aid, there is very little accounting of how the money is actually spent and what it is used for.

This from The Long Palestinian Money Trail should be an eye-opener to many:

Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the international community has shown unprecedented generosity toward Palestinians, donating approximately $5 billion to the Palestinian Authority. The World Bank noted recently that 'donor disbursements to the Palestinians currently amount to approximately $1 billion per year or $310 per person ― one of the highest per capita rates in the history of foreign assistance.' (By comparison, the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II provided $68 per year, in today's dollars, to Europeans.)

There is more at Boker Tov Audits the PA's Books.

More financial aid is given to the PA than to most of Africa. Why isn't there accountability on how this money is spent? You can go on-line and check the rating of most charitable causes and even governmental departments to see where the money goes and what it is used for. Why isn't there something like that for the aid the PA receives? What projects is the aid used for?

No comments: