The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity: Business & Financing War (1997)
The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity, by Michael Maren, is a book about good intentions gone awry, in the realm of charitable assistance to Africa. The author argues that the international aid industry is a big business more concerned with winning its next big government contract than helping needy people. The focus of the book is Somalia. Among the organizations criticized are World Vision, Save the Children, Christian Children’s Fund, UNICEF, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, and USAID. The book argues that relief aid helped bolster the regime of Siad Barre.
A recent article in ProPublica highlights the scandal of a few years ago in Haiti, with new information and documentation. Mainstream Charity is riddled with waste and corruption. This investigation shows that big organizations are, even at their best, less able to use your money effectively and efficiently than if you just sent your money directly to poor people.
People all over the world are more than capable of solving their problems with a little help. They don’t need accountants, project managers, grant proposal writers, UN programs or any of the other jargon-spouting masses being imposed on them by mainstream charity and government “aid”. They just need some friends to help them out.
Western aid agencies areusing the plight of Africa’s Ebola orphans to fund a lavish lifestyle in $800-a-night hotels and leaving the children to fend for themselves, according to Liberia’s development chief.
Children who were forced to watch their parents die and were then shunned by their community are being ignored while useless facilities are being built, according to Julia Duncan-Cassell, Liberia’s minister in charge of saving the orphans.
She accused the agencies of handing out $235 daily allowances that are higher than her salary – and that the money invested is wasted on expensive hotels and driving around in big cars.
Meanwhile thousands of orphans have been abandoned to the care of neighbours and relatives who are struggling to find money and food to support them.
At the G8 Summit held two weeks ago at Camp David, President Obama met with private industry and African heads of state to launch the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a euphemism for monocultured, genetically modified crops and toxic agrochemicals aimed at making poor farmers debt slaves to corporations, while destroying the ecosphere for profit.
And Bono, of the rock group U2, is out shilling for Monsanto on this one.