International Development Secretary Clare Short accused the Red Cross and other agencies of launching pointless fundraising appeals on the back of international disasters and emergencies.
Addressing a media conference at which aid agency representatives were present, she argued that aid agencies focus far too much on fundraising appeals and have created a sense of “competitive fundraising.” Addressing appeals launched for work in Sudan, she said that the unnecessary appeals create a feeling among the UK public of hopelessness in the face of such unrelenting images and reports of mass starvation and poverty. These, she argue, produce a distorted view of the Third World and the reasons for such “disasters.”
The Red Cross, not surprisingly, were not pleased with Ms Short’s comments. They felt that they were “a little bit like blaming 999 crews because we have a lot of road accidents.” The Disasters Emergency Committee, which co-ordinates major disaster appeals by UK charities, also rejected Ms Short’s criticisms.