Disaster relief charities dominate NGO coverage

The tsunami tragedy drove disaster relief organisations to the top of December’s NGO Watch, pushing other charities, such as Amnesty International, to their lowest positions of 2004.

The top five NGOs last month all secured significantly increased levels of coverage in the final days of December because of their relief efforts in Asia.

The Red Cross attracted the most attention after it sent aid assessment teams to affected areas and set up a fundraising website that also provided a point of contact for survivors and their families.

Oxfam came second after it called on the UN to lead the relief effort and warned: ‘short and medium-term responses are underfunded.’

UNICEF, Save the Children, World Vision and ActionAid also rose into the top ten on the back of their relief efforts.

Louise Speake, senior researcher at table compiler Infonic, said charities not involved with the tsunami aftermath still achieved high table rankings owing to pre-Christmas coverage.

Age Concern, for example, came sixth for its seasonal campaign on the under-nourishment of over-65s.

Amnesty International, however, suffered from the tsunami focus. It came seventh despite highlighting the situation in Darfur and welcoming a ruling by law lords decreeing that the Government must either charge or release ‘terrorist’ detainees.

News analysis, p17

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