So many natural disasters have struck in so short a time that each successive event has resulted in fewer contributions to relief agencies. Fred Katayama reports.
One after another they struck: Catastrophic Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria slamming North America in short order. Then comes a massive Mexican earthquake. The unprecedented wave of natural disasters also slammed relief agencies. World Vision says some donors got tired of giving. World Vision's senior director of emergency funding Drew Clark. SOUNDBITE: DREW CLARK, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY FUNDING, WORLD VISION, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It is unusual to have so many disasters in rapid succession. So close to home, and if you compare how our fundraising has dropped off with each one of these successive disasters. We have seen some evidence of donor fatigue, yes." 14:46:54 World Vision took in $1.1 million in the ten day period after Harvey hit Texas. Ten days after Irma whiplashed Florida, it collected $657,000. Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico, pulled in $416,000. And the earthquake, $340,000. In other words, successive collections took in roughly 40 percent less than the one before it. The coffers also got lighter at the American Red Cross and AmeriCares. The Red Cross raised nearly $400 million in donations and pledges for Harvey, $56 million for Irma, and $22 million for Maria. The reduced fundraising could curb the ability of aid organizations to provide longer-term support. Lecturer Michael Seltzer studies fundraising at Baruch College's School of Public and International Affairs. SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL SELTZER, DISTINGUISHED LECTURER, BARUCH COLLEGE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "9:58:30 It has a very negative impact on the first stage after a natural or man-made disaster which is recovery. And there's tremendous resources that are needed. I think one of the avenues such organizations can pursue is what we're doing in New York City, where volunteers can go down for example, in helping in the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico." Back at World Vision, Clark says his organization can appeal for more contributions to its core group of loyal supporters. That way, it could go beyond giving immediate relief to providing the longer-term recovery and rebuilding of the disaster-hit regions.