U.N. Official Calls U.S. Aid Stingy

The Washington Times reports that U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland suggested that the United States and other Western nations were being “stingy” with relief funds, saying there would be more available if taxes were raised:

"It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really," the Norwegian-born U.N. official told reporters. "Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become."

"There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy," he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe "believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more."

The Associated Press reports that Secretary of State Colin Powell bristled at the suggestion the United States has been "stingy:"

"The United States has given more aid in the last four years than any other nation or combination of nations in the world," Powell said when asked about the comments Monday by Jan Egeland, the U.N. humanitarian aid chief.

In an interview on NBC"s "Today" show Tuesday, Powell said that "clearly, the United States will be a major contributor to this international effort. And, yes, it will run into the billions of dollars."

The U.N.'s Mr. Egeland needs to learn to be more diplomatic. All Mr. Egeland's comment will achieve is to make the U.N. even more unpopular in the U.S. Fortunately, the American people, who always give so much, will still donate a lot to help with this disater. I hope that the aid that the U.S. government provides does not go through any U.N. organizations until Mr. England at least apologizes. I would prefer his resignation, but an apology will do.

From California Yankee.

Posted by Dan Spencer at December 28, 2004 10:51 AM