Tsunami Turns Japan from Generous Donor to Donee

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May 11, 2011; Source: The Guardian | Until five months ago, Japan was the world’s fifth biggest donor of aid to other countries, giving away $9.5 billion a year, according to the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation. The cleanup from the tsunami, however, has transformed the country from donor to a donation destination. The World Bank estimates that the recovery will cost $235 billion, making it the most expensive ever disaster. In contrast to that massive number, the Red Cross reports having received $2.2 billion in donations from other countries and even much of that remains unspent to date.—Ruth McCambridge