Somalia and Bill Gates: Does Humanitarian Aid Really Help the Sufferers?
In his New York Times article Bill Gates is speaking for the value and effectivity of foreign aid. In his view “one of the most powerful solutions to this problem is to help poor farmers get more out of their tiny plots of land.” According to him this could have be done in Sub-Saharan Africa as well as in the famine-haunted region of the Horn of Africa where 2011 due to a longstanding drought period a widespread famine endangered more than 8 million Somalis. His key-solution is to support small farmers by developing and spreading new species and varieties of crop – rice e.g. -, which can meet changes in climate like droughts and floodings – and withstand subsequent plant diseases.
Read more: The Truth About Foreign Aid by Bill Gates (New York Times)
Laura Heaton of the Enough Project contradicts this:
In a critical review of the effectivity and planning security of the international aid-campaign facing the 2011 famine in Somalia she is calling things as they are:
“(…)as this field dispatch describes, insecurity, inadequate oversight for distribution of humanitarian assistance, and wholesale criminality combined to create a situation where beneficiaries often didn’t see the relief intended for them, security services involved in distribution committed abuses with impunity, and aid flowed instead into the pockets of corrupt Somali officials—all issues that primarily fall to the TFG [Somali Transitional Federal Government,] to address.”
The TFG stands exemplarily for governmentally and administratively designed and structured corruption and larceny as well as for individually motivated greed – the bottomless pits where a large part of the humanitarian aid is disappearing at the expense of the afflicted populations, the real consignees of the donations.
A UN/OCHA-report in January and an UNICEF-news release in April 2012 unanimously appeal to the public: not to give in to their concerns, but to continue with their financial support of those 2.5 million Somali children who are still on the verge of starvation:
“Despite significant progress in the food security outlook for the Horn of Africa, the child survival crisis is far from over. Millions of children require sustained assistance in the critical months ahead. Otherwise, we can easily see a reversal of the hard-won achievements,” said Elhadj As Sy, UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa.”
Read more: U.N. Says Somalia Famine Has Ended, but Warns That Crisis Isn’t Over by Jeffrey Gettleman (New York Times)
Check the following link for further action: