Thursday, 28 January 2010

Jersey Disaster Appeal

Islanders are being encouraged to help victims of the Haiti earthquake by supporting a local appeal. The Bailiff, Michael Birt, announced the launch of the 'Jersey Disaster Appeal' ..Announcing the appeal, the Bailiff said "What has happened in Haiti is clearly a human tragedy on a massive scale and as a fellow island community, Jersey will be keen to show its support to those who so desperately need emergency supplies, be it in the form of essential medicine, clean drinking water, food or shelter. "I hope that by establishing a public disaster appeal fund, Islanders will feel better able to make their contribution count, in the knowledge that the funds raised will collectively be put to work to achieve the highest possible benefit for the people of Haiti in their hour of need."

Where this may be useful is in fund raising events, which can be channeled though the "Disaster Appeal Fund". I can see that a local fund would be useful, although Oxfam and Christian Aid also have local branches, and I don't really see why we need another fund for channeling donations.

But apart from that, I cannot understand the sentence "will feel better able to make their contribution count".

Does it mean that we, as an Island, can say - look how well we did, didn't we do well? I've given directly to the Red Cross, and I can't say that giving locally would make me feel any better, or that it would count any more.  But perhaps I'm in a minority, perhaps most people like to know there is some official Jersey fund.

But what I'd like to know is how the fund will be channeled to give help to Haiti.
The Red Cross, Oxfam, Christian Aid, and other relief organisations have their own infrastructure for ensuring that aid gets to where it needs to go (and doesn't end up in the hands of somewhat dubious governments). I've read a few accounts of the Jersey Disaster Appeal, and all it says is that has been set up, and how to donate, but it doesn't answer that question, which strikes me as remiss in an appeal.

If you know the answers, please comment on this post! In the meantime, try and donate - either via Jersey charities, the disaster fund or otherwise - to help Haiti.

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