The Government’s response thus far in assisting the people hit by the flooding in southern Bulgaria appears to have been reasonably swift and sensible – but more heartening is the degree to which individuals and companies have reached into their pockets to give of their own money.
At this writing, at least 700 000 leva has been donated through separate fund-raising campaigns; but therein lies the rub, the fact that the fundraising campaigns are separate. Reportedly, at the receiving end this may not matter that much, because distribution of the donations is to be decided by a local committee, and it is to be hoped that it carries out its task with objectivity and efficiency.
However, given that this is not the first and nor will it be the last time that Bulgaria faces some sort of natural disaster, a dialogue is needed about how civil society responds in terms of gathering money and goods to help those in need.
Seemingly without acknowledging each other’s efforts, the respective organisations have made the arrangements to help and drummed up publicity to get people to donate. Logically, one particular organisation was first, and it seems that it may have been a better idea for others who also wanted to do their bit to have become partners in an already-established campaign.
This is not intended to decry the praiseworthy efforts of the individual organisations; but merely to suggest that in future, such campaigns be conducted on a unified basis.
Resentment on the part of ordinary Bulgarians on the basis of the perception that those on the public payroll are skimming off the cream by paying themselves lavish bonuses would be quite understandable.
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