Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Pumping Millions into Africa

Tony Blair and others latest crusade is Africa, and American is being strong-armed into "contributing" millions to help this continent.
WASHINGTON -- A U.S. commitment to providing $674 million for famine relief in Africa may take some of the sting out of President Bush's opposition to a proposal by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to spend even more money.

However, the other issue topping Blair foreign policy this year - fighting global warming - may further strain his relationship with Bush. Blair has made the issues the twin focus of Britain's yearlong chairmanship of the G-8 group of wealthy nations, yet Bush has rejected many of his close ally's ideas on Africa and the environment.

The joint initiative for famine relief that they were announcing at the White House comes after Blair proposed doubling aid to Africa. The amount of Britain's contribution to the new program was not disclosed, but it was said to be less than that of the United States.

Blair is likely to be disappointed by the U.S. commitment. He has been pushing a broad, long-term - and far more costly - effort to help Africa's economy get on its feet, not just emergency food aid. He also wants G8 countries to commit new money for Africa rather than reallocating funds already earmarked for foreign assistance.

The U.S. money will be drawn from funds already approved for an Agriculture Department food aid account and other funds available in a recent supplemental appropriation.

The problem I have with this crusade, it that throwing food and money at Africa is not going to solve anything. We have been doing this same routine for decades, and has anything changed? No, because the "Aid" that we send is NOT getting to the people that need it, it goes into the pockets of every despot, crook and warlord that run the place. We are not solving the problem when we go on this altruistic crusades, all we are doing is compounding the problem. We need to bypass the crooks, and DIRECTLY aid those in need. Get the food to the people, don't let the warlords take it, as has happened in the past, and get the money to those directly in charge of the help programs, with monitoring so it is not diverted into some despot's pocket. Helping Africa is a great idea, if properly implemented, otherwise, it's a waste of money and I am tired of seeing my tax dollars going to Mugambe and his ilk.

Mr Minority