( A three-minute read that could save millions of lives)
If you ever wanted proof that Capitalism is driven by greed just watch what can only be described in the above words the recent plea made by António Guterres to the International community for funds to tackle the declared famine in parts of Nigeria, South Sudan, and looming in Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen.
The estimated number of affected children is now 450,000, with 14 MILLION PEOPLE needing humanitarian assistance across the region.
Five years ago, more than a quarter of a million lives were needlessly lost, 130,000 of them children. We simply cannot have a repeat of that tragedy. The only way to prevent this devastating loss of life is for donors and international leaders to act now.
Global hunger levels are at their highest for decades. There are currently 70 million people in need of food aid. The reality of life for a fifth of the world’s people, on a planet which produces enough food to satisfy everyone is that humanitarian aid to Africa has been shrinking.
Rich countries have been giving money to poor ones for many decades and for many reasons — from geopolitics to post-colonial guilt to altruism so there is little point here in reiterating the reasons why the world is in such a mess.
What is needed in the long run is a fully funded Humanitarian Affairs United Nations. Not a begging Institution.
Rather than boasting our compassion with wasteful foreign Aid there is only one course of action:
To make the Greed / Profit for profit’s sake segment of Capitalism system Pay.
This can be achieved with modern-day technology by Placing a World Aid commission of 0.05% on all. High frequency Trading, on all Foreign Exchange transactions over $ 50,000. on all Sovereign Wealth Funds acquisitions, on all gambling winnings.
This would create a Perpetual fund of billions.
The real question, though, is (with climate change and technology) is whether aid will remain relevant, and if so how.
The answer boils down to this: solutions.
Governments in developing countries will seek assistance only when they have a problem that they cannot solve by themselves.
They know how to build schools, hospitals or ports, and can pay for them. But they will look for other countries’ experiences when reforming educational curricula, designing health insurance systems, or regulating private suppliers of infrastructure.
They will want to avoid the mistakes of others, and learn from their successes.
At times, they may ask for support in implementing particularly tricky projects, mostly as a way to keep graft, pollution or displacements at bay.
This can only be achieved if the United nations see themselves more as partners than as donors. This will stop Aid countries of exporting their own way of thinking.
Donors would be sought after, rather than just accepted.
They will be those that can deliver ideas, experiences, expertise, lessons, evidence, and data.
In other words, what will make future aid relevant will be knowledge, not dollars.Development aid will be a more difficult business — for you will need to operate at the technical cutting-edge — but a more useful one.
To the extent that there are internal leaks in Africa–As a first order of priority, the leaks should be plugged to ensure that the little aid that comes in, stays.
In politics, no good deed ever goes unannounced.
It’s is very hard to feel hungry and not to be able to do anything about it.
Contributors to United Nations aid and development programs have provided slightly more than half of the $800 million requested in 1999 for African countries suffering from “complex emergencies”–the term applied when war and failed institutions, often combined with a natural disaster, leave vast numbers of people homeless and starving.
The reasons for the decline are not hard to find.
Donor nations are and will be more so under pressure to attend to problems at home rather than foreign assistance that is wasted by bloated aid agencies pouring money into the pockets of corrupt African governments, senseless civil wars, wasteful military expenditures, capital flight, and government wastes–Pouring in more foreign aid makes little sense.
However if asked we all want a more prosperous and equal world that will serve everyone’s best interests.
To create a less threatening world beyond our borders we must tackle inequality head on.
We are on track for a tipping point of Inequality with the web only speeding up this process through digitization and universal access. We’ll be postulating about social media’s impact on the more long-term future of the world.
Aid can be fearful of the future – but it can also be a force for good.
No transformation will occur overnight.
The debate on aid comes down to lack of imagination. We have cemented in our minds the idea of a hierarchy in the world’s nations: the developing world is below us and we need to help them, preferably to our advantage. But we do not want them to rise above us.
Catastrophe evokes a human response to help fellow creatures.
All comments appreciated. All like clicks chucked in the bin.
Here is who to donate to: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha), Care, Oxfam, British Red Cross, Cafod, Tearfund, Christian Aid, World Vision, WFP, Unicef.