Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Local taxes and dubious foreign aid tell on tsunami relief

Tsunami relief work in Sri Lanka is suffering for a number of reasons.

Among them are the new taxes on relief material, the dubious ways of the international aid agencies, and the doubtful value of their work.

On one hand, the cash-strapped Sri Lankan NGOs are facing a serious problem with the government slapping customs duties and VAT on relief material sent by foreign donors and on the other hand, the cash-rich International NGOs (INGOs) and UN organisations — who ought to be doing good work — are mired in wasteful expenditure, administrative inefficiency and gross inequities.--------Cont.online

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