Typhoon Haiyan: did you donate already?

So far, Dutch people donated 18,5 million euros to help the survivors of the typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Last night, awareness was raised through a national broadcast event, at which many Dutch celebrities called to transfer money to Giro 555, the national charity account. Are internationals aware of this initiative, and did they already donate?

Nelly Hristova (32), master Maritime & Transport Law from Bulgaria

“I don’t know what Giro 555 is, because I don’t watch Dutch television very often. In Bulgaria, you can donate money to charity on a lot of occasions. For example, when you pull money out of an ATM machine, you can decide to donate a small part to help the poor. Because there’s also a lot of poverty in Bulgaria, the majority of the money is for the local homeless or hungry people. There’s probably also some kind of initiative to raise money for the Philippines as well, but I’m not sure. I didn’t donate anything yet, but maybe I will.”

Vikrant Sihag (28), PhD in Innovation Management from India

“Giro 555 doesn’t sound familiar to me, but I only watch BBC news, not the Dutch journals. In India there is a lot of government funds for the Philippines, and if you donate, you receive tax benefits in return. I donated 50 dollars, through a website that some of my Filipino friends that live in the United States have put together. Their goal is to raise 50,000 dollars, and so far they raised around 8,700 dollars, which is 18 percent of their goal. If I’d have to guess the amount of donated money in the Netherlands? I think it’s about one million euros. You already raised 18,5 million? Great job!”

Salvador Mendoza (26), master Urban Management from Mexico

“In Mexico, we usually have some charity initiatives, which are all completely voluntary. At previous natural disasters, like the tsunami in Asia in 2004, I donated money, but I wasn’t planning on it now. I need all my money for paying my studies, housing, food and so forth. So what did the Netherlands raise so far? One billion euros, or is that too optimistic? 200 million euros perhaps? Only 18,5 million dollars you say, that’s not a lot. I would expect more from a rich, Western European country like the Netherlands. Maybe it’s because of the global economic crisis. People have different priorities at the moment, it’s hard enough to manage your own finances. But on the other hand, every euro helps, of course.” MvS