NEW YORK—Last Friday, the United Nations Subcommittee on Natural Disasters released a report crediting the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) with the recent Pakistani floods that have left 21 million homeless. The investigation cited anonymous sources in the organization, who said the disaster created “new publicity and fundraising opportunities.”
Red Cross President Jakob Kellenberger immediately accepted full responsibility for the floods. In a recent press conference, the President promised that, due to conflict-of-interest concerns, the organization would remove all staff from Pakistan. He also promised to return all monetary donations to their respectful owners.
“Unfortunately, we cannot return any donated food,” Kellenberger stated, “except whoever sent those Domino’s dessert pizzas. Those things are disgusting. However, in light of this controversy, the Red Cross will begin removing blankets, clothes, and toilet paper from the region to send back to donors.”
The report has stirred controversy in the nonprofit world. Yesterday, the International Volunteer Union President accused the ICRC of using underhanded tactics to monopolize media attention. His comments have ignited tensions in regions such as the Congo, where a group of villagers attacked their local Red Cross nurse, accusing her of fomenting civil war to advertise peace programs across the continent. Similar assaults have occurred in Uganda, Thailand, and Germany, who has accused the Red Cross of starting WWII.
Others see the tactic as a successful marketing strategy. “Look,” saids Sister Anne Ramachinov, the head of the World Health Organization’s Committee for African Research into Ebola Symptoms (WHOCARES), “people are not interested in slow suffering. The general public feels that starvation and disease happen every day, so why are those victims special?” She says her organization is currently reviewing plans to introduce the Ebola virus into the New York water system.
Recent studies support Sister Anne’s conclusion. In May 2010, before the floods, 87% of Americans agreed with the statement, “Pakistan is a shithole no one cares about.” In a new survey published after the floods, 93% of Americans agreed with the statement, “Pakistan is a shithole and we need to help.”
“If nations present the right image,” she declared, “our Savior Jesus Christ will reward them with the tools necessary for helping the poor.”