Today’s “Big Heart Award” – if there was one – should be awarded the people of Estonia, which today pledged USD 1 million in earthquake aid to Haiti. It doesn’t seem like much, but measured against the country’s GDP it’s the highest national level of aid that’s been given so far. It equals six times the U.S. aid to Haiti.
“We want to send out a signal voicing our solidarity and condolences to the Haitian people.”
(Article in English, links to sources in English)
Estonia has proved to have a big heart when it comes to aid to earthquake-ravaged Haiti, offering more than six times what the United States has announced in emergency relief, when GDP is taken into account, the EUobserver writes.
According to the UN’s Office of Co-ordination of Humanitarian Assistance, which tracks aid pledges, Estonia has announced a total of $1 million. In absolute terms the sum lies in the shadow of Washington’s $100 million, but as a percentage of its GDP, Estonia’s contribution amounts to 6.2 times the American offer.
Proportionately, if the US, and the EU as a whole were to give what Estonia is giving, Washington would have announced $620 million and Brussels $790 million.
Estonia comes top of the league tables of EU member state donors to Haiti, with Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg and Belgium rounding out the top five, when GDP is taken into account.
The European nations has so far pledged a total of USD 575 million to Haiti.
“We want to send out a signal voicing our solidarity and condolences to the Haitian people,” the spanish foreign minister Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos told reporters.
“This is the first time the EU has had to respond to such a crisis under the Lisbon Treaty,” he added, referring to the bloc’s newly centralised foreign policy co-ordination as laid out in the Lisbon Treaty.
Europe will also be sending a contingent of European gendarmes to support the re-imposition of civil order.
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