Money in the Bank to Fix Tsunami Ravaged Lands

It’s unusual in the history of disaster relief: today NY Times’ Stephanie Strom writes about the surplus facing the NGOs who raised more than $1.3 million after last December’s Tsunami.

“From our point of view, this is like dying and going to heaven,” said Charles MacCormack, president of Save the Children. “It allows us to put together a coherent and systematic long-term plan, rather than living day to day and year to year as we normally do. Save the Children has never before gotten this much money to sustain a five-year recovery plan.

The overflow of funds provides a bonus: For the first time in its 58-year history, Direct Relief established a separate account to hold the $14.3 million it received after the Tsunami, and pledged that 100 percent of the money would be spent on recovery work. Of the $568 million raised by the American Red Cross, just $167 million has been spent…leaving millions for the work that will take many more years.