Why Now?
Saturday, January 08, 2005
  Relief Update

The BBC World Service reported that during the Saudi telethon for disaster relief King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz pledged $5 million and Crown Prince Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz Al Saud pledged $2.5 million. The event raised $82 million. It would be a serious breach of etiquette for anyone to pledge more than the King. The government of Saudi Arabia is still offering its $30 million pledge.

By holding the telethon, the kingdom gave people a way of avoiding some of the charities that are on the international list of contributors to terrorism. It also provides those organizations with a reason to complain about being listed. Wheels within wheels, reflections of mirrors within mirrors, more layers than a Vadalia onion.

Princes William and Harry, Queen Elizabeth's grandsons, wanted to do something for the tsunami relief so they volunteered at a warehouse in Bristol, England loading boxes with supplies and stacking them on pallets for shipment. Their grandmother would approve; she drove an ambulance during WWII.

Prince Harry will be joining the Army later this year and will probably become a career military officer, like his uncle, Prince Andrew.

ABC News has a story from the initial medical response teams reporting a Civil War level of medical care. With a shortage of medications and equipment, and a general lack of facilities even before the tsunami struck, medical teams are resorting to amputation as a last resort technique to save lives.

Aid can arrive in hours from thousands of miles away, but the last ten miles can take days. The lack of roads, bridges, trucks, boats, and helicopters is the current problem that people are trying to solve.


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