Thursday, September 03, 2009

Media and Fighting Poverty

The UN News Source released a report explaining the difficulties of maintaining awareness and support for those in need. While the media highlights a particular cause or disaster, funds for relief are abundant, but as soon as the media stops coverage, people stop giving.

People stop donating for a number of reasons, including skepticism that relief agencies can provide adequate assistance due to corrupt or uncontrolled governments. There are also cases where the public believes a crisis has abated or that it is irresolvable. Catherine Bragg, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, explains, "we need to continue to communicate… so that people don't get a sense of complacency, don't get a sense of 'well, it's passed us by, things are back to normal again.'"

In efforts to combat the loss of donations, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) was created four years ago. With a target budget of $450 million, one third of the funds go to situations where there is a potential great loss of life. However, increased and sustained awareness would help perpetuate donations and provide support for the CERF.
--Jessica Milstead