IMPACT

What It Will Take To Effectively Track Funds Pledged For Disaster Relief

People carry food aid from a British Navy helicopter after it made a food drop on Sherbro Island, Sierra Leone, Sunday, Dec.
People carry food aid from a British Navy helicopter after it made a food drop on Sherbro Island, Sierra Leone, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. The WFP, World Food Program and British Military took part in a three day food distribution effort to local residents on the remote Sherbro Island, where the amount of sick people due to the Ebola virus have prevented people from farming, fishing or gathering there own food. (AP Photo/Michael Duff)

When a disaster strikes, the world takes action to help people in need. Relief workers are deployed and pledges are made to finance the effort to save lives. What happens to all of that money? Where is it spent? What does it accomplish?

Those are the kinds of questions that are always asked following a disaster. Whether it is the earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami in southeast Asia, or Ebola in West Africa, tracking money is incredibly hard. As countries and donors came to the support of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea during the Ebola outbreak, billions of dollars were pledged and hundreds of millions spent.

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