BBC World had an interesting little feature on the news today. Below is a brief summary.
In 1998 Honduras was devestated by hurricane Mitch. The world promised a fortune. To date less than 1/3 of what was promised by governments as opposed to individuals has materialized.
Even the aid that has arrived has been underutilized. A bridge was built with the Japanese donation, but the money was used to bring in expensive Japanese workers to do the job. Much needed employment was not found by the Hondurans. The feature concluded with an example of a mountaintop village where all reconstruction had been done by the local people using their own meagre resources.
Three months on from the Asian tsunami this story is a stark reminder of the reality of governmental aid pledges.