Rescuers lift a child out of the debris of collapsed buildings in Beichuan county in southwest China’s Sichuan province on May 13.
Americans apparently have a track record of opening their wallets to assist those in need after natural disasters at home and abroad. That was the case, at least, after the 2004 tsunami in Asia and Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. in 2005. But the picture looks different in the wake of the recent cyclone in Burma and the earthquake in China, leaving international trend-watchers asking: What gives?
The Washington Post:
But the simple fact is this: In the weeks since a cyclone laid waste to Burma’s delta region and an earthquake devastated a central Chinese province—catastrophes that collectively left 184,000 people dead or missing and displaced millions—Americans have donated an estimated $57 million to disaster relief charities as of yesterday.
Compare that with the $207 million that Americans donated in the first five days after an Indian Ocean tsunami struck southern Asia in 2004. Or the $226 million raised in five days after hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast.