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  #1  
Old 12-26-2005, 06:07 PM
Botnst's Avatar
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Your tax dollars at work

Overheads take up to 1/3 of tsunami funds
NEW YORK, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Up to about a third of the $590 million U.N. fund spent for the Indian Ocean tsunami relief may have gone to pay for overhead.

The Financial Times says its two-month investigation showed the money appears to have been spent on administration, staff and related costs. The $590 million was part of the United Nation's $1.1 billion disaster flash appeal.

The newspaper also found several U.N. agencies continue to refuse to disclose details of their relief expenditure in spite of earlier pledges of transparency by senior officials.

The flash appeal covered the money donated by governments to the world body in the first weeks after the disaster to fund the early aid work, the Times reported.

The newspaper said details of that appeal it obtained from U.N. agencies such as the World Health Organization and the World Food Program showed 18 percent to 32 percent of the expenditure related to staff, administration and other costs.

Some agencies say non-profit aid organizations should claim no more than 10 percent of project funds for administration costs, the report said.
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2005, 06:27 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Blue Point, NY
Posts: 25,396
I make the assumption that you all contribute to charities at some point in time.

I get telephone solicitations from charities fairly often seeking contributions.

To each of them, I respond with the following:

"Can you kindly send me the financial statement of the charity so that I may see how you distribute the funds that you collect".

Not a one of them has ever followed up and sent me the statement. The best I ever get is a telephone number that I should go and call to get the requested document.

I've become quite skeptical of charities, in general, and believe that they waste a good portion of what they collect on the expenses of solicitation.
  #3  
Old 12-26-2005, 06:53 PM
Geezer
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 1,316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst
Overheads take up to 1/3 of tsunami funds... ...appears to have been spent on administration, staff and related costs.... ...U.N. agencies such as the World Health Organization and the World Food Program showed 18 percent to 32 percent of the expenditure related to staff, administration and other costs...
OK, big revelation for the Financial Times: all businesses have overhead costs, and disaster relief is a 'business.' Ask your local businesses what their overhead costs are.

Or, if you are thinking that Disaster Relief should be a Government Program, ask Congressman what their 'overhead' is...

Quote:
...Some agencies say non-profit aid organizations should claim no more than 10 percent of project funds for administration costs, the report said.
Good luck! Only the best of charities, run with a lot of dedicated volunteer labor, can hope to get down to these numbers. Most people do not work for free, so the charities cannot get their costs down to this level.

I agree with Brian that you should be aware of how hard your donation really works before you give to a Good Cause.

"All of our proceeds go to charity" means anything left over after expenses, like salaries, rent, utilities, etc. It does not mean that everything you send just gets turned around and sent along.
  #4  
Old 12-26-2005, 08:21 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
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Location: Milford, CT
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Another example of why the UN is a waste. Their is no reason they need that much overhead. Give me the money I'll get $550 mill to the people who need it. $40 mill should rent me a nice 300ft yacht to take the the Indian Ocean as a base ship and hire a couple dozen people to keep track of and give out the funds. Maybe I'll rent a couple of black hawks as well to get around.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2005, 09:48 AM
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The Blow-Up
Annan insults and distracts.

In a telling moment at a United Nations press conference Wednesday, Secretary-General Kofi Annan lost his temper — hurling insults at a widely respected senior member of the U.N. press corps. Beyond the who-what-when-where-how of this episode, the big question is: Why?

The broad answer is that the U.N. Secretariat, despite all the recent talk of reform, evidently remains a place of secrecy and privilege, run by high officials who don’t mind talking about their global goals and grand legacies, but find it highly irritating to be held to normal standards of good governance or subjected to anything resembling the workings of a free press. And in this particular case, given the ferocity of Annan’s reaction, one has to wonder if there is even more to it.

"Behaving Like An Overgrown Schoolboy"
The occasion was Annan’s year-end press conference, at which Annan had just described his own job, and by extension himself, as “perhaps chief diplomat of the world.” It is a role, he said, that requires “a thick skin” and “a sense of humor.” But Annan displayed neither when James Bone of the London Times began asking questions referring to two of the scandals that continue to bedevil the secretary-general: the saga of Oil-for-Food, and the cameo of a Mercedes-Benz allegedly bought and shipped under false use of Kofi Annan’s name and U.N. status by his son, Kojo Annan.

Instead of answering Bone, Annan cut him off, first calling him “cheeky,” and then interrupting him again to say: “Hold on. Listen, James Bone. You have been behaving like an overgrown schoolboy in this room for many, many months and years. You are an embarrassment to your colleagues and to your profession. Please stop misbehaving, and please let’s move on to a more serious subject.”

Hold on, indeed. In the interest of serious subjects — U.N. integrity, for example — let’s pause the tape right there. It is no small matter when the secretary-general of the U.N. slings personal insults in a public forum. Bone is a skilled and serious reporter, regarded not least by some of the chronically imperiled whistle-blowers in the U.N.’s own ranks as a credit to his trade. At the press conference his colleagues rallied to his defense, with a spokesman for the U.N. Correspondents Association telling Annan that “James Bone is not an embarrassment,” and “He had every right to ask the question.”

Quite right. But somewhere in the excitement, not only Annan’s temper, but Bone’s question got lost. It’s an old rule of thumb in the reporting trade that when someone answers a good question with a bad attitude (especially someone as seasoned as the chief diplomat of the world), there is probably something there that deserves a closer look. In this case, it might just be that Mercedes.


About that Mercedes…
Bone’s question involved sludge turned up by Paul Volcker’s U.N.-authorized inquiry into the U.N. Oil-for-Food program for Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Among other things, Volcker examined the work done by Kofi Annan’s son, Kojo Annan, for a Swiss-based private company, Cotecna Inspection, which in December, 1998 won an important U.N. contract to inspect Oil-for-Food relief goods imported into Iraq. While digging into these matters, Volcker came across evidence that toward the end of that same year, in November, 1998, Kojo Annan allegedly misused his father’s name and U.N diplomatic status to buy a Mercedes-Benz at a discount in Europe and ship it duty-free into Ghana. There, the U.N. resident representative at the time certified to the Ghanaian customs authorities that the Mercedes was for “personal use by Mr. Kofi Annan, U.N. Secretary-General” — thus obtaining a customs exemption on the car of more than $14,000.

That discovery raised the question of whether Kofi Annan himself had been complicit in the alleged misuse of his own name and U.N. privileges. According to Volcker, Kofi Annan when asked about the deal claimed ignorance, saying “he did not know that Kojo Annan was buying a Mercedes-Benz in his name.” Volcker reported that he had found no evidence to contradict Annan. And there Volcker’s inquiry abandoned the trail, leaving the fate of the Mercedes itself a mystery.

But unless the Mercedes simply vaporized — lock, stock and documentation — upon arrival in Ghana, there is presumably more to the story — quite possibly involving paperwork with a U.N. stamp. So, for months, Bone and a number of other reporters, myself included, have been asking Annan’s aides what became of the Mercedes — and getting no answer except that Annan’s office does not consider this a U.N. matter.

more at NRO
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2005, 12:09 PM
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The place where I work do charities twice a year. Both of them told me that only 10-15% of the money they collect actually goes to charity.

If you donated to the Salvation army or The American Red Cross for hurricane Katrina relief or Tsunami relief and didn't specify that it was intended for that purpose they used the money where the wanted.
These are two excellent charities BTW.

Those who donated to charities during the 911 disaster were hosed by that.

There are some bad charities out there but that should NOT stop anyone from giving. There are always going to be bad apples out there. Give from the heart and give joyfully.

If you want to know where to give check around:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=christian+charity+organizations+rating&btnG=Search

http://www.charitywatch.org/toprated.html

Danny
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  #7  
Old 12-27-2005, 12:27 PM
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I firmly believe in the the Salvation Army..or a church charity my mother knows that 100% goes to the local poor of Appalacia.....not ungrateful foriegn recipients.
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  #8  
Old 12-27-2005, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst
The broad answer is that the U.N. Secretariat, despite all the recent talk of reform, evidently remains a place of secrecy and privilege, run by high officials who don’t mind talking about their global goals and grand legacies, but find it highly irritating to be held to normal standards of good governance or subjected to anything resembling the workings of a free press. And in this particular case, given the ferocity of Annan’s reaction, one has to wonder if there is even more to it.
DO AS I SAY.....not as I do!
  #9  
Old 12-27-2005, 12:59 PM
MedMech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el presidente
DO AS I SAY.....not as I do!
I'm going to copy this to another thread, it fits.
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