Sunday, May 18, 2008

Generous donors from Hong Kong support Sichuan earthquake relief work

The earthquake in the Wenchuan County of Sichuan Province has probably left over 50,000 people dead. The reconstruction of homes and infrastructure will take considerable time and financial resources. Fortunately, the government and many organizations in Hong Kong are very generous in their donations in helping their motherland China.

According to Xinhua News Agency, the Hong Kong government donated close to US$45 million to help the victims in the earthquake while the Li Ka Shing Foundation donated US$3.85 million and a businessman Tsang Hin Chi donated US$1.28 million to the disaster area. Many other organizations, including the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hang Seng Bank and HSBC, continued to raise funds or approve funding to support the relief work in Sichuan.

On May 16, 2008, U.S. Ambassador to China presented a check for US$500,000 to the Red Cross to assist China's relief efforts in areas affected by the earthquake. The funds are from the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, the U.S. Agency for International Development.

It is a small check comparing with a small government such as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region considering that the United States is a developed country and the world's police. Even Cisco, a single company, has donated US$1 million to China. Don't get me wrong. The amount is not everything in terms of donation. We do what we can. However, with a disaster of such a magnitude, the number on the check is everything. We would have thought that big boys in the world such as the United States would have been more generous. It is a time about humanity.

Someone I know suggested that the United States government probably could not help much more than they did because the Bush administration is pretty broke with their extravagant expenses on the wars they are still fighting.

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