by Evan SilversteinA record $23 million was donated for hurricane relief in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita, but only $4.5 million has been expended to date. This has caused some controversy, and PDA explains that this is an ongoing effort that will probably extend through 2013, and that this was a deliberate strategy to ensure that funds are available for rebuilding as memories (and donations) fade. PDA assures us that funds donated for 2005 hurricane relief will be expended only for that year's efforts.
"LOUISVILLE — Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has announced a seven-year $14.4 million budget for funding ongoing relief efforts in the aftermath of last year’s devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes.
The “long-term strategic allocation” will guide the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s response to the disasters in Mississippi and Louisiana through atleast 2013, according to Susan Ryan, PDA’s coordinator...."
This brings up an issue that one minister of my acquaintance feels is a weakness in the system. If you designate money for "Hurricane Katrina", then that is where it must go. If you designate for "Hurricane Relief" then it can be used as needed for any hurricane relief effort (but not tsunami or earthquake relief). If you designate it for "Presbyterian Disaster Assistance" then it can be used as needed whenever and wherever disasters occur.
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