Church sent thongs, furs in Asia aida

A Greek Church charity sent boxes of «inappropriate» aid to victims of the Boxing Day tsunami in Sri Lanka, including fur coats and carnival wigs, Doctors of the World, the organization that helped unload the shipment, said yesterday. The aid, more than 600 tons, was collected in Greece by the Orthodox Church’s charity organization Solidarity and shipped to Sri Lanka using a cruise ship. The operation was coordinated by the Foreign Ministry. «We had a staff of eight on the ship traveling to Sri Lanka. When they arrived and started opening boxes containing the aid they were shocked and angered,» said Elli Xenou, Doctors of the World director of foreign missions. «There were boxes containing fur coats, carnival wigs and underwear thongs which were completely inappropriate.» The Foreign Ministry said it was investigating the issue. Greece was the fourth-biggest contributor of aid to southern Asia in the European Union. It was not clear how much of the 600 tons was unusable, but Xenou said it was a lot. «There was a considerable amount of stuff that should definitely not have been there. Even if just one box could not be used it is unacceptable.» Solidarity director Dimitris Fourlemadis said some boxes may have contained suspect clothing but the figure was very small. (Reuters)

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