Action Alert Archive
Letter campaign regarding American Red Cross tsunami funds
Please participate in the letter campaign by personalizing the following letter with your Congress person's name and your name and sending it.
January 3, 2007
Dear [Member of Senate/Congress]:
I am writing to you with grave concern regarding the unspent American Red Cross tsunami funds and the impact it has on the thousands of civilians living in the Tamil homeland of Northeast Sri Lanka, who are still living in temporary shelters after their homes were destroyed by the tsunami two years ago.
It is my understanding that of the $575 million dollars donated by Americans to the American Red Cross, there remains nearly $400 million unspent. If the money is not spent by December 26, 2006, it may be transferred to the American Red Cross general funds. This could be an appalling misuse of funds, considering that none of these funds have reached civilians in NorthEast Sri Lanka.
On December 5, the American Red Cross announced it would contribute $10 million toward housing reconstruction that will benefit 3,000 families affected by the tsunami in Sri Lanka. It is worth asking, of the $10 million designated for these families was any of this money spent in the affected areas in NorthEast Sri Lanka? Only one location was mentioned by the American Red Cross in its latest announcement of this project, and that location is in Sri Lanka's South, Walahanduwa, which is near the port city of Galle.
I would also like to remind you of additional international aid that has already been denied by the Government of Sri Lanka to Northeast Sri Lanka, the Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS). Of the half a million civilians displaced by the tsunami, the majority of them are living in NorthEast Sri Lanka, and still residing in temporary shelters. The temporary shelters were built specifically for periods of six months or less and are unable to sustain the prolonged inhabitance of civilians. The living conditions have created serious health risks.
I kindly and urgently request you to:
(1) highlight the issue of unspent American Red Cross tsunami funds, determine the fate of the nearly $400 million and request that the money be allocated to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is carrying out ongoing tsunami reconstruction.
Thank you for your efforts.
The mission of People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) is to end the systemic human rights abuses against the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, and promote equality, rights and justice on the island. PEARL is 501(c)3 non-profit organization led by human rights activists concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka.