As a humanitarian, we get asked so many questions about the work that we do. On Tuesday, the press was out to talk to us about Gaza.
The story will air tonight on the Real Orange at 6:30. I’m anxious to see how the story plays out. This was a new reporter we haven’t worked with, and we all know the wonderful job of editors who can make you say controversial things to drive ratings. I understand that the news can be more about ratings than reporting facts, but that’s not the case for every reporter or every station. Of course we understand that the media needs to make a living.
Here’s the situation; the reporter was asking about how you deal with uncooperative governments and in this case how to you deal with a terrorist group not recognized as a government. The fear is that the news report will say that Giving Children Hope thinks its still good to send aid even if 50% goes to Hamas.
It came up because my boss acknowledged the fact that sometimes, some aid lands in the hands not of the poor, but of the people you don’t want it to. He acknowledged this when most organizations that do what we do don’t acknowledge it. In fact, we often know when someone’s cargo gets taken but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard another organization publicly admit to this. I’ll also add that in my two years at GCH I’ve not experienced any of our cargo ending up in the hands of government officials. I know of problems with customs and the length of time it takes to clear, but I am not aware of any product that has actually not gone for its intended use.
That being said, in our 16 years there have been times when some cargo has been extorted from our partners and confiscated by the government. Not most of the shipment, but some of the shipment. The point John was making was that if we send aid to Gaza, if 90% of it ends up serving the poor and 10% ends up in the hands of Hamas, we would still send the aid. We hope that 100% of it goes to serve those in need, but if 10% gets used to open the door for 90% going to those in need we think that we should still work hard to serve those in need.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this. I suppose it’s a controversial subject. I have to say that I agree. We work with a network of advocates around the world and together we all do our best to ensure that those we are attempting to serve get served in the best way possible. But I suppose if I were the person in Gaza distributing aid and there were many wounded all around me that might die, and that if I gave 10% of the aid to them in order for them to allow me the 90% to come and save the lives of those around me, I’d do it. I’d do it in a heartbeat. I might be irritated about it, but when peoples lives are at stake you do what you have to do to help a maximum number of people.
So tonight, we’ll see what the news reports. However, I can assure you that we are working hard to send aid to Gaza and we always pray that 100% of our cargo reaches those in need. And by God’s grace that is usually what happens.