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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 January, 2005, 13:27 GMT
Is the world doing enough for quake areas?
Aid workers throw food and water supplies from a helicopter over the town of Meulaboh in Aceh province in Indonesia.
Relief agencies are continuing attempts to send supplies to areas affected by the tsunami disaster.

However, transport difficulties have prevented aid getting to some of the worst hit regions.

Many roads are blocked, there are petrol shortages and some local airports are damaged or simply unable to cope.

Is aid getting through to the affected areas? Have you contributed to the appeals? Send us your views.

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Your comments:

This topic was suggested by Asrul Akmal Shafie from UK:
Have we done enough for the victims of the tsunami?

I am originally Sri Lankan, living in the UK, and was back here on holiday while the tsunami happened. Freezing the debt of affected countries is also laudable but most people I know in Sri Lanka are extremely distrustful of the government and feel that they will mismanage (and pocket for themselves) most funds that they get their hands on. While the UN should co-ordinate the effort, the SL government needs to be seen to be in control of what happens. I think they should be made to account for all proceeds of debt relief and aid that they are given.
Shehana, Colombo, Sri Lanka

The people in these countries will need help and support for many years to come!
Rajeeva Wijetunge, St Albans

I think the initial international response to the tsunami disaster was good. Over a week after the terrible event unfolded and thousands of lives were lost relief work appears to be getting under way. Judging by the British public's response, people at an individual level have been showing their concern by donations and collecting clothes, linen, medication etc to be sent to affected areas. This goodwill to help others in times of desperate need has been reflected by many people around the world - whether affected directly or indirectly by the disaster.

However, it is sad to hear of some individuals taking advantage of a situation like this and resorting to measures like stealing from collection boxes or trying to sell aid goods to victims in affected areas. Do these people have no conscience? Let's hope the generosity and want to help extends beyond the next couple of weeks and months. The people in these countries will need help and support for many years to come!
Rajeeva Wijetunge, St Albans, England

Yesterday there was a nationwide appeal throughout the Netherlands for the tsunami victims. All the radio and television stations, both public and private, collaborated all day long. The present and past prime ministers were among the 150 famous Dutch people who helped man the phones. Thousands of people came in person to hand over money they had collected, from sports associations, businesses, counties and other groups who had collected many thousands of Euros to children who had collected and returned empty plastic bottles and given the deposit money to the appeal.

In a country with 16 million people, the total so far collected is Euro 112 million (and there is more to come). (Equivalent generosity in the UK would produce something like 280 million pounds.) After hearing so much in the last few years about how divided the world is (Moslem v Christian,' axis of evil', 'war on terror') it is very heartening to see what people can do when they pull together - and that they will do it.
Kathy, Wassenaar, The Netherlands

From top to bottom, the world is pulling its weight
Dr Ian Sedwell, Weymouth, UK
Yes... Governments are doing enough. The USA has made available invaluable logistical resources. The UK too is pulling its weight. We had aid in the air within 24 hours and consulate teams on the ground within 12. And the British people are being magnificent. I am helping to organise a charity concert and last night found myself in a pub chatting to a guy about the situation. With no prompting, he got on his mobile, called a contact in China and ordered a thousand enamel badges to sell at the concert. From top to bottom, the world is pulling its weight. If only we could remember that similar numbers die daily in Africa from disease, malnutrition and civil disorder.
Dr Ian Sedwell, Weymouth, UK

I do not believe aid is getting through to affected areas, or that tsunami aid will eventually be directed towards those suffering on the east coast of Africa where many died? There has been little or no press/media coverage on their situation. What about the families of fishermen in Somalia and those affected in the Seychelles and Mombassa? I do not believe aid is getting to those affected areas in Africa. Has the West been programmed to anticipate death and destruction as normal events in the Motherland?
Donette Kruger, Harare Zimbabwe

It took some time to assess the damage and come to terms with the truth, but it is great to see how so many nations are now flocking to help us in so many ways. Each nation is contributing in its own way, by sending workers, medical supplies, vehicles, helicopters, ships, boats and troops who are able to work in these difficult conditions.Together, their efforts will help us to quickly rebuild and restore normalcy as soon as possible. I personally thank all of them for coming to aid my country and its people.
J Maurice Roche, Colombo Sri Lanka

It disturbs me that this, and every other, disaster is used by politicians as an excuse for yet another talk-fest and photo-op. They just love to appear to be generous as they dole out other people's cash. Let those who are able and willing to donate do so - in person. It is ludicrous for governments to offer "dollar-for-dollar incentives". But my major problem is with those who make a parasitic living off the backs of the victims - those who, through downright incompetence, misuse the monies donated. Worst of all are those who misappropriate for their own ends. The UN is far from blameless in either category - as the scandal of the Iraqi oil for medicine shows.
Ron, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Contrary to some opinions being posted on this site, the fact is that the UN is by far the best authority to co-ordinate relief efforts. It has the best resources and organisation to act efficiently despite smear campaigns currently running against it.
Simon Watkins, Newport, Wales, UK

The entire debt of the countries most affected by the tsunami should be wiped out. This would be outstanding proof of support.
Dell D, London, UK

I think the response by the rest of the world, including the British government, has been tremendous.
Paul, Durham, UK

Donor governments and organisations would do well to maintain control and oversight of their money and not turn it over to the UN. The UN has proven time and again that it is a huge inefficient bureaucracy.
Mark, USA

I don't think the world is doing enough for the tsunami casualties, particularly the USA. Please President Bush, give the tsunami victims half of what you spend per month on Iraq. They would feel much better.
Martin Obinna, Abuja, Nigeria

The empty hotel beds should be offered to local victims until new homes are ready for them
Brigitte Schauer, Innsbruck, Austria
I don't feel enough has been done for the victims, since only a percentage of the hotels/resorts have been damaged and tourists are not showing up in the numbers hotels are used too. These empty beds should be offered to the local victims until new homes are ready for them. So much money has been collected for the victims. It should be used to pay for their accommodation.
Brigitte Schauer, Innsbruck, Austria

I think the three minute silence on Wednesday would have been more useful if we had all used it to lobby our government to cancel not only the interest payments on the debts of the affected countries, but the debts themselves. What possible use is a sympathetic gesture when what these people need is immediate and long term action?
G Birchall, Cheshire, England

We are all devastated by this disaster, but we must not forget that aid is required daily to those who have and will continue to suffer in third world countries. We cannot only aid those affected by natural disasters but give a helping hand to thousands who die daily from malnutrition, lack of clean water and disease. This joint world intervention must be the step forward in humanity so we can all really believe we are from one world.
James Reed, London

A million homeless and jobless, men and women who have lost whole families, thousands of orphans, it is heart-warming to find that people who are far away from us have responded to our call. There probably isn't one family who has not been affected. As a Sri Lankan living in Sri Lanka I would like to call upon the world community to continue to come here for their holidays, if they know someone here help them on an individual basis, we have to pick up the pieces of our lives and not wallow in our misery. We have now reached the stage of "grief fatigue" and the people are numbed by the shock.

Certainly there may be a miniscule number who try to capitalise on this disaster, but that should be irrelevant. Every article I have read around the world shows how ordinary people have responded with loving kindness to those who have suffered. My plea is please help directly to anyone you know in Sri Lanka, if not, then contribute to the organisations in your country.
Denzil J. Gunaratne, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Mother nature unleashed its might and destroyed in one glimpse what we build a lifetime. The world, different races, different religions, different cultures come together. For a moment we forget our differences. Relief does not only have to be in monetary aid but can be in well wishes, prayers and in kind too. Why does it takes such a tragedy for a reality check and for all of us to come together?
Razak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

It's overwhelming to see the warm-hearted donations by countries, celebrities and ordinary people
Muhammed Nauman, CT, USA
It's amazing to see how the world has such bitter differences over state and personal affairs but at a time of need, it's truly amazing to see how the same world comes together to help the needy. It's overwhelming to see the warm-hearted donations by countries, celebrities and ordinary people. I hope this passion stays within us forever and hope the best for the victims of the tsunami disaster. May God bless them all.
Muhammed Nauman, CT, USA

I think the world is doing all it can considering the enormous need and the unexpected nature of the disaster. The countries hit by the tsunamis not seem to have a disaster relief system of their own, and the world community is stepping up to the challenge magnificently. That is not to minimize the horrible suffering that has already occurred and will continue until stabilization occurs. In the USA, our hearts go out to all the victims of the tsunamis and their families. I hope the world notices that when people are in need, we respond regardless of their race, religion, or nationality, and that it has always been this way.
Cindy, Ohio, USA

I became aware this morning that "pledge" does not mean "donation", in respect of governments' offers of aid. I sincerely hope the governments who have pledged actually do hand over the money, and soon.
Sarah D, Norwich, UK

It's doing enough at the moment. But while this is heart warming, it does throw into sharp relief the selfishness and neglect that the developed world is guilty of over the past several decades.I think it's interesting that all we're being asked to give is money. I phoned around some local charities from 28th Dec onwards to see if they needed any practical help (packing boxes, etc), and was told 'that's kind, but we really just need money'. Which is fine, but I wonder if there's more that could have been done initially to organise practical help in this country.
Andy, Dunfermline, Scotland

There is no need to state what a unprecedented tragedy the tsunami has caused, and it's admirable to see people reaching out for the cause, but we must not forget that Africa is hit by a tsunami every week in the form of debt, aids and famine. All I hope is that the huge sums allocated by the international community aren't the aid intended for Africa. A large tragedy such as the tsunami must not make us forget our daily problems.
Jonathan, Malmoe, Sweden

I am a Sri Lankan doctor living in England, and would like to give my deepest thanks to all those who have contributed to the tsunami appeal. Having grown up in Sri Lanka during the civil unrest, I know the devastating effect that this natural disaster will have had on top of the man-made ones, and I know that even the smallest contribution will help. Thank you all so much
Mala Yogarajah, UK

We may be couple of miles away from each other but when disaster happens we come together so quickly. Thanks to those countries who donated to the Asian disaster victims. It is clear that we are one big family.
Edward Bogatsu, Gaborone, Botswana

What scares me the most are the social consequences ofthis disaster: people who have lost their whole families, homes, jobs, parents. The stories you hear are appalling and there are so many of them... Suicidal tendencies and alcoholism have already been mentioned as a threat. How do you rebuild the inner self of millions of people who have been destroyed inside? This is the real scale of the tragedy.
Luca Biason, Leeds, UK

They are getting our help now but will need it for some considerable time to come
Debra Travers, Okehampton, Devon
The affected countries will need years and years to pick themselves back up - their debt to western countries should be written off not just frozen. They are getting our help now but will need it for some considerable time to come.
Debra Travers, Okehampton, Devon

The worldwide pledges of funds to help the Asian tsunami victims is impressive but much more will be necessary over the next few years. One of the problems will be the control of funds being disbursed around the needy victims.
Barcas, Wassenaar, NL

I think there should be a worldwide programme set up to help people foster or adopt orphans to help rebuild their lives after they have lost their families. This might help in the long term. In the meantime I think people just need to give as much money as they can.
Fiona McLaren, Glasgow, UK

I have friends and family in Thailand and Indonesia, but although this is a tragic event, I cannot help but agree that this is a natural disaster that mankind could not have done much if anything about. Poverty, war and famine in the Third World, especially Africa have been with us all of living memory, When will the world take a clear, unsentimental approach to the bigger issues, rather than focusing on soundbites? Yes, the tsunami was a dreadful disaster, but the world needs to react far more to the on going problems of the Third World.
Jonathan Dakin, London, UK

If more celebrities followed the example of Sandra Bullock, Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg, there could be vast amounts of money given to help the victims of this disaster. These wealthy entertainers have put their money where their mouths are and hopefully more will follow.
Doug, Atlanta, USA

Is humanity still oblivious to the fact that natural disasters like the earthquakes and tsunamis can affect all of us - where is the sharing of those technologies that gives warning to all mankind? Is this to take place when we are all to be threatened? Is the greed of the individual still to be allowed to dictate the timing?
Arseven R. Gumush, Nicosia, Cyprus

The best aid is given by those who plan for it
Robin Low, Singapore
There are some who gripe that the world's response is slow, and even why the US Navy has taken a week to send its carrier group into the region. I think it is important to remind all the sceptics and armchair critics that even the military cannot just project their forces into an area at the snap of their fingers. Let it be known that the best aid is given by those who plan for it.
Robin Low, Singapore

The public are doing their very best to reach out to those who have lost their lives and loved ones and to those who are now homeless as a result of this terrible tragedy. Just a suggestion: Couldn't Ken Livingston donate a day's congestion charge and Transport for London fines to the suffering? After all, wasn't that what paid for the firework display that took place in London on New Year's Eve??
Jo, London, UK

There's only so much countries can do. People are giving so much money and so are the governments. But if people like Bill Gates who have more money than they could spend in a lifetime gave just 1% of their full amount of money then they would help so much more than they may already be helping.
Fiona, Bolton, UK

We hear a lot about how much the Western world is giving, publicly and privately, towards tsunami relief work. Some of it very negative comment indeed. However it's curious that none of the very wealthy oil-rich countries in the Middle East seem to be doing anything very much to help. After all, Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim state, you'd have thought that would inspire some action. It appears to me that some parts of the world are expected to help no matter who has been affected, and some aren't.
John R Smith, UK

In response to criticism in one article of Arab countries not giving enough, I would like to point out that the government of Kuwait - with only one million Kuwaiti citizens - has donated $10m, not to mention a steady stream of supplies and money going to the Red Cross and Sri Lankan Embassy, given by Kuwaiti individuals and companies, and other nationalities - plus a number of fund raising events taking place. Efforts are being made here.
Yvette, Kuwait

I offered my engineering and logistics knowledge to the red cross, I received an email saying I would be contacted shortly. Till date I am still waiting. Maybe they have enough staff to cope. If any other agency needs my help, please contact the BBC for my details.
Kobbi, London, UK

I believe that premiership footballers should donate a weeks wages to the cause. Assuming that there are 11 players at club (more likely double that) and that there are 20 premiership teams, and each player is on at the very least 20,000 this is equal to roughly 4.5m. you can see that this number could get to triple that figure.....To earn the amount of money they do, for what they do, it is embarrassing they haven't put forward the idea themselves....the same goes for all the top leagues in Europe.
Phil, London, UK

I think we need to start coming up with fundraising ideas for the longer term. While the Tsunami is so prominent in the news it is easy to raise funds. I think it would be a great idea for businesses and schools to "twin" with establishments in the affected region. For example, hotels in London could support hotels in Thailand. I am sure customers in London would be pleased to know their hotel was working to help. The same with schools - it would be amazing for UK schools to adopt a school and have contact with the pupils and support them and learn from them as they rebuild their lives after this disaster
Josie Hill, London

Personally I think the amount that has been given both by the general public and governments worldwide is great. There is a lot of talk about how certain governments have been stingy etc, but might i point out that as the seriousness of the disaster became ever more apparent, governments accordingly increased the amount of money they were giving. Take the US for example. They initially gave $35 million. They have increased that to $350 million. Never mind the cost involved with the movement of their troops etc to help with relief. I think it is important for people to remember that governments have budgets they have to work with. If only it was as simple for them to say "OK, take as much money as you need."
Stephen, Ireland

It has been just over a week since the tsunami struck. At no other time in history would we have known about the disaster so quickly, let alone have raised millions of dollars in aid to help those affected. Let's stop bickering about which government or country is doing the most and get back to supporting those agencies best suited to getting the job done!
Penny, Victoria, Canada

Many people are criticizing about the amount of donations by UK civilians. Has it not occurred that some of us cannot afford to donate even 5.00, many of us are struggling on poor wages with high costs of living and a worry about the financial future. Yes, it is a tragic event, but many of us would like to help but cannot afford to do so.
Jamie Rampant, UK, Hove

Our school is having a non-uniform day on Friday to raise some money for this aid and is participating in the 3 minutes silence today carry on helping!
Sophie Brixey, London, Dartford, Kent

I would like to help people who were involved in the Tsunami disaster, perhaps by visiting the area and helping out in any way I can. Could you give me any information on what is available for me to do to help? Your advice would be highly appreciated.
Stuart Carbery, Manchester, UK

I think that if people all over the world held the biggest worldwide music concerts, held on the same day in each different country by famous artists such as Robbie Williams, Will Young, Eminem, UB40, etc, Then all the money collected for the sale of the tickets could be donated to the earthquake disaster. How could we organise a major event like this?
Brian Rickman, Great Britain

I imagine that, like me, many if not most, of the people donating to the relief fund will have had to use their credit cards especially, following so close to the expense of Christmas. I have no doubt that when my statement arrives for my card I will be charged interest on the amount I've donated. As it's obvious to the card companies where the funds have gone, DEC etc. I wonder if, they will donate the interest charged and recovered, to the disaster fund?
Kenneth, Halifax UK

For now I think the world is trying although they may not have done the best so far. It is really evident that the good will is there. Personally I am not there but I think my little help will make a change.
Nathaniel Eke, Okigwe, Nigeria.( writing from Madrid, Spain)

It's the individual contributions that have been the most touching. At my wife's Nursing home, one old man donated 100 to my wife's 24 hour sponsored silence. The next day, the poor chap passed away. Now i hope all this lovingly donated money goes to help those that need it, and not line the pockets of the greedy.
Jano, Harrow, UK

No amount of money can make up for the toll taken! But its only right that everyone gives their support however little!
James Robbins, Ashford

I believe that all product prices should rise by 1p. It doesn't seem much, but there are so many consumers. The money raised from the extra 1p should go into a special disasters fund, so that in the event of natural disasters the money is ready to go. When it is depleted the cost rises again. I believe that this would help a great deal.
Abi aged 12, Basingstoke England

Very pleased to see the world reaction to this devastating event - but do we really need three minutes silence? I for one resent its imposition and will pay my respects in my own way. I feel the number of 'silences' is devaluing their original purpose.
Peter, Peterborough UK

Of course not. In my country (Serbia and Montenegro) no one is doing anything to help people in Asia, or to organize any charity activity. People are mostly uninterested to see what is going on. Government is concerned with internal stuff, and nobody is aware that this is world catastrophe and that we must help. Shame on us.
Nevena, Belgrade, Serbia

There are many deserving causes that need just as much help and which are morally much less acceptable
Michael Wolfcarius, Luxembourg
I am pleased and slightly astounded by the level of help/charity offered for the recent victims of nature. It seems the media have done a great job of unwittingly coercing people into feeling they must participate, although you still notice it takes time for people to be convinced (the longer the story runs, the wider the spectrum and the larger the individual sums become (see celebrity/political donations and their statements to coerce their own). Of course it's all for a good cause (one which could have been prevented at a fraction of what we have donated now - guilt feelings?) but it seems everyone forgets that while the media sleeps there are many deserving causes that need just as much help and which are morally much less acceptable.

Here we are confronted by nature which once in a while wipes out 150000 people. This is the very same number of people that die every 3 days since decades of famine and thirst. This is a problem man can do something about, and apart from a brief stint in the mid eighties, never has. Even the revival of Band Aid II has been wiped out by recent event. Don't be so weak as to forget problems which are not constantly being rubbed in your face. I for one (after seeing the amounts donated for Asia) am keeping all my pennies for those always forgotten and it would be a sign of hope and moral education if charities would now take advantage of the huge sums they have collected to use part of it for those who never get any media primetime.
Michael Wolfcarius, Luxembourg

This shows the need to be proactive rather than reactive. How many thousands of lives and millions of dollars would have been saved if the Western countries now so quick to give aid had paid for a warning system similar to the one operating in the Pacific Ocean?
Andrew, New Zealand

I think it's great how much money is being contributed. I think the bigger challenge is implementing the use of it. Also, I am extremely saddened by the fact that many criminals are now preying on the victims of the tsunami.
Raj, Washington D.C., USA

All schools should be giving money and supplies
Janay, Essex, England
Quite a lot needs to be done. But it will never be the same again. All schools should be giving money and supplies, like our school! They will never be enough done for what all those people have be through, and I feel for all of them!
Janay, Essex, England

In the wake of such a disaster it is no surprise that three key things are missing now: the ability to coordinate the flood of aid that is starting to arrive; the logistic expertise to deliver it where required; and the communications needed to make this process work. In the UK we have people who are adept at this. Remember the foot and mouth era of 2001, and who cut through the bureaucracy then? It was the armed forces. Use them for good, cut through the rubbish and get the right people out there now. They can work for the UN, NGOs or, frankly, anyone. It doesn't matter and it's the right thing to do - just do it.
David, Telford, UK

I just pray that all those in need, get it
James Seeley, Connecticut, USA
I feel confident that all of the countries involved in the relief efforts are doing the best job they can. It is like anything else, until something bad happens, it's not often true that a plan is in place to deal with a particular situation. I just pray that all those in need, get it. God Bless.
James Seeley, Bethel, Connecticut, USA

The response has been tremendous and swift. It shows that no matter how substantial our differences and grievances, we feel for and empathise with our fellow man in a time like this. My only concern would be that aid agencies would be flooded with donated surplus food from many governments which is essential in the very short term but could prove devastating to local farmers and fishermen in the long term. I hope that aid is put in the form of infrastructure rebuilding and not putting the local growers out of business once life returns to a semblance of normalcy.
Nora Adams, Ottawa, Canada

Enough? No, the developed world has never done enough to help the poorer nations, whether in times of crisis or in normal times. Many (probably most) of the people affected by this disaster did not have adequate medical care before the tsunami. For a while, they will have decent care, food, and shelter, but they will be forgotten again when this is no longer the cause of the day. Perhaps we in the developed nations should spend less time patting ourselves on the back for sending our one time donations, and put some thought and effort into seeing that these people's lives are permanently improved.
Brian, Kansas City, USA

The public has grieved at the deaths and given generously
Pete, Manchester UK
People say that the world needs an organisation to coordinate disaster relief efforts. Well there is and it's called the United Nations, although whether they are capable of doing anything quickly is debatable. The public has grieved at the deaths and given generously. It's the "Diana" effect. Governments have to be more careful with the taxpayer's money. There is far more death in other parts of the world caused by famine, poverty and disease, and it will need plenty of ongoing money long after the Tsunami is forgotten by the media.
Pete, Manchester UK

Call me a cynic, but there are many in a position to be able to offer much in the way of financial aid yet have not been seen to do so. As for the celebrities who usually seek publicity for their good deeds, and "offer their time" primarily urging others to give, I would like to see how much they contribute. The average person has given generously, how about the super rich celebrities matching that with their own profits gained, no doubt, from people who have been affected amongst others over the years.
Andrew Stamford, Australia

Stop the squabbling that has accompanied financial gestures both large and small
Shaun, Devon UK
I think it is petty and churlish to see so many comments on here seeking to point the finger at governments in particular. Most people the world over have reacted sympathetically and donated money to the victims of this freak tragedy. We must all continue to do so and stop the squabbling that has accompanied financial gestures both large and small.
Shaun, Teignmouth Devon UK

I am glad that so much money has already come in. But on the other hand, while 50 million or so that the British public has already given seems a lot, it's not even a pound per person on average. Since most donators will probably have given at least 10, if not much more, it means that the vast majority has given nothing at all!
Annette, Dunblane, Scotland

In South Africa on Sky News all we hear is what contributions Great Britain is making. I think the British government and people are doing brilliantly to help the victims of the Tsunami tragedy and the rest of the world should follow the example of Britain. It is at times like this I feel proud that my native home land, Britain, is doing all it can for those poor souls which have been affected by this disaster.
Mary Evon, Republic of South Africa

Most of the victims here are Muslims and our people have a cultural belief that the West is out to destroy us
Imran, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am amazed to see such generous aid coming from countries like the USA, UK and Australia. Most of the victims here are Muslims and our people have a cultural belief that the West is out to destroy us - it's interesting to see this belief being shattered.
Imran, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Yes, I believe the aid is more than can be handled right now. But keep giving, it is all needed. I am disturbed to see TV personalities (not reporters) exploiting the disaster for personal gain. They are taking up a bed and food which should be going to those who are helping!
Natee, Atlanta, GA USA

There has been one great side-effect of the recent tsunami: it has brought the whole international community together. A chaotic start should have been expected due to the unprecedented scale of the disaster and the required level of response. At this time the international community is like a symphony in motion but the problem is that the "harmony" does not reach out to those most in need. After more than a week it is really time for the UN to get a much stronger grip on the steering wheel. Unfortunately not all affected governments are willing to co-operate. I cannot understand why they are toying with their own citizen's lives?
Mary McCannon, Budapest, Hungary

This is a disaster that will have implications for decades to come
Roger Watson, Lancashire, UK
Money and resources are being made available by governments and charities. However, the large range of organisations involved in making good use of the money and resources is a cause for concern.This is a disaster that will have implications for decades to come, so it is well worth establishing some sort of co-ordinating body to ensure money and resources are employed as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Roger Watson, Lancashire, UK

My dad served for 25 years in the RAF, and he feels that we should leave the organisation planning and implementation of the relief effort to the aid agencies and the military as they are the only ones with the required expertise. The best thing we can do is to give them the cash to enable their efforts.
Sophie, Lincoln, UK

Let's wait and see if the money pledged by various governments actually arrives!
Eileen, London, UK

One of my work colleagues was in Phuket and his wife remains missing. He is now back in the UK with his 3 children and the assumption is sadly his wife was killed although nobody has yet been found. Like many I gave money immediately upon realising the scale of this disaster. I think more can be done but it will mainly be in the long term rather than the short. My biggest complaint having spoken to my friend and colleague is the lack of support to those affected by this. I also think the decision by the PM to stay on holiday is utterly disgraceful.
Paul, London

I think the relief effort by the world collectively is unparallel and has brought us all together in its own way. Personally I have marvelled at the way funds have been collected in such a short period of time and channelled through various aid agencies, the military and charities.
Ketan, Harrow

Good luck and Godspeed to those trusted to deliver aid to the victims
Mark Hillard, Toronto, Canada
It seems that all governments are being attacked for failing to react quickly enough. Both in Canada and the US the criticism is the same. It should be pointed out that the majority of the criticism comes from those who oppose the government politically, they ought to be ashamed of their blatant politicking. As for the slow reaction, more than 24 hours after the disaster, local authorities were estimating deaths at less than 10,000. It was only in the third or fourth day that the numbers escalated to the horrific levels we see now. Good luck and Godspeed to those trusted to deliver aid to the victims.
Mark Hillard, Toronto, Canada

The world is doing what it can. No one envisaged such an awesome disaster and to get aid to people on such a massive scale takes time and logistics to put right what the ocean did in minutes.
Carole, UK

If anything the aid effort is so immense that it's overwhelming the affected nations' infrastructure. It doesn't matter how much aid is pledged if none of it can get to the needy. The fact that the only runway in Aceh was blocked by a stray cow highlights the problems facing aid organisations. It's fortunate the US Navy had so many helicopters close at hand - they've save more lives already than any other aid organisation.
Peter, Nottingham

What we need isn't the piecemeal response we've seen to this and other disasters. We need permanent task forces in regions prone to natural disasters with immediate access to supplies and expertise.
David Anderson, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

These shattered communities will need our support for years to come
John, London, UK
With our usual sanctimonious humbug, we Brits are congratulating ourselves on having raised already 60 million in charity donations to aid this disaster. BIG DEAL - this equates to only about 1 per head of population. I urge all readers of this forum to follow the suggested lead and donate at least a day's salary to the appeal, and not just once but on an ongoing basis. These shattered communities will need our support for years to come to rebuild themselves. How many of us can honestly say we can't survive without 3% of a month's pay?
John, London, UK

News reports indicate that hundreds of millions of dollars are being donated by private citizens in the US, Europe and elsewhere. Thanks to all these generous donors. Some governments could do well to follow the example of their citizens and send significant monetary and other aid. I think the US government has done less than it could in this matter and left it to the private sector to pick up the slack.
Dave Woods, Cleveland/USA

This incident has definitely brought the world much closer. People have started looking deep within themselves. It is a shame that it needs an event of this magnitude to make us better human beings.
VK, Devon, UK

I and almost everyone I know here in New York have given to charities. The world is doing its best, and people should stop trying to turn this awful tragedy into a political issue.
John C, New York, USA

Gordon Brown says he is drawing up plans to freeze the debt of those countries affected by this disaster. How about wiping out the debt completely? Both the UK and USA have the power to do this
Kev, London

Appropriate and effective delivery of aid requires planning and coordination. The logistics of getting water purification, medical supplies and non perishable foodstuffs, communications, road clearing equipment and fuel, to an affected area from wherever the resources are located is a difficult task at best, in any situation. Without a central command, a database of available resources, some stock of equipment and goods, plus a great deal of trained expertise, much of the effort becomes wasted, excessively slow, and excessively expensive. The situation in Asia is teaching the world community what it lacks in that regard, and perhaps next time there might be a better level of preparation, rather than what is at best "band aid management" of a massive trauma.
John Holmes, Canada


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