Tsunami Aid: Norway Number 1

Based on the stats in my earlier-posted list, here’s the per capita ranking for selected nations and their government contributions to the tsunami relief effort (it would be interesting to do the nation-by-nation stats on private contributions, too, but I need to get off my butt and so something resembling real work at some point today). And yes, that number for Norway is correct. The government in Oslo raised its initial pledge of 100 million Norwegian kroner (about $16.3 million) to 1.1 billion kroner ($180 million) (as reported in the English edition of Aftenposten). Norway’s population is just 4.6 million, so the per capita figure exceeds that of even the sparsely populated Number 1 donor in total aid, Australia). If the United States made a commitment at a similar rate to Norway’s, its aid figure would come to a little more than $11.5 billion.

(Just for fun, I’ve thrown in each country’s world ranking in per capita GDP from the CIA World Factbook; the rankings are in parentheses after each country’s per capita aid figure in U.S. dollars).

–Updated on 1/5/04 to reflect new aid commitments from Australia and Germany.

–Updated on 1/8/04
to reflect new aid commitments and add Kuwait, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland.

–Updated on 1/8/04 to add Finland and the Netherlands and update French aid total.

–Updated on 1/9/04 to reflect increased aid commitment from Finland.

–Updated on 1/11/04 to reflect increased aid commitment from Canada.

1. Norway:
$39.13 (Per capita GDP rank: 2)

2. Australia: $37.82 (14)

3. Qatar: $29.76 (36)

4. Denmark:
$14.11 (8)

5. Canada: $13.24 (11)

6. Switzerland: $13.00 (7)

7. Finland: $12.56 (22)

8. Sweden: $8.33 (24)

9. Germany: $8.17 (21)

10. United Arab Emirates: $8.00 (32)

11. Kuwait: $4.35 (47)

12. Japan: $3.91 (17)

13. Taiwan: $2.21 (31)

14. Netherlands: $2.09 (16)

15. Spain: $1.69 (34)

16. New Zealand: $1.68 (35)

17. United Kingdom: $1.61 (19)

18. European Union: $1.36 (26)

19. United States: $1.19 (3)

20. Saudi Arabia:$1.17 (69)

21. France: $1.05 (20)

22. China: $0.05 (120)

Tsunami Bucks

The Amazing Tsunami Aid Turnaround continues: After embarrassing itself earlier this week by announcing the U.S. would commit $15 million to tsunami relief — equivalent to what we spend every 100 minutes on Iraq — the Bush administration upped the number first to $35 million (about four whole hours of Iraq money) and now to $350 million. OK, I won’t bother to translate that into Iraq terms, since doing that is an exercise in context and irony. Realistically, no one can yet put a price tag on just what recovery in southern and southeastern Asia will take. Lots of the money is going to come straight from ordinary folks who are moved to reach into their own pockets. You may or may not have a favored aid organization in mind. In this case (as in earlier disasters) Kate and I have given through the American Red Cross (which is also collecting for tsunami relief through Amazon, which says it has raised about $9.5 million from 125,000 individual donors so far).

That’s just one option, clearly. Network for Good has what looks like an excellent list of organizations participating in both immediate and long-term response to the disaster.