Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Shame Shame

Shame on our PM for not keeping his (and our) promise regarding foreign aid. The acceptable target is .7% of GDP, which is 6.7 billion dollars or 61 cents per day per person. We currently give .26%, still better than the USA at .16% but far short of Norway at 0.87%. Keep in mind that this promise was made FIFTEEN FREAKING YEARS AGO!!!

Things are bad in Africa, in fact things are not only bad but they have been getting progressively worse in my lifetime. This is particularly pathetic because technology has advanced so rapidly that there is no real justification for it. It's not that there ever was any justification for it but now more than ever we have the means to make it better but we seem to be making it worse.

So what's the problem exactly? Well first off, African nations are so deeply in debt that they spend more on interest on their loans than they do on basic necessities. This is a lot like how credit cards, gambling and lotteries exploit the poor here but on a much larger scale. Another factor is that they just don't have a chance at fair trade to become self sufficient because of trade tarrifs. Here in Canada, our economy depends on "adding value" to raw materials. We don't sell just sell raw wheat, lumber and oil, if we did we'd be poor too. On top of that, there still is an enormous amount of corruption in Africa keeping the population opressed and keeping the economies stifled.

Sound hopeless but the good news is that technology is making it easier for those in the first world who are acting as advocates for the third world to start to show some solidarity and it seems like there is some momentum gaining. It's very hard to stop it once it is in motion and the faster it moves, the more likely that it will gain critical mass. I don't think anybody is expecting the third world to become luxurious but at the end of the day, water, food, shelter and education don't seem like too much to ask for.

Here's where you can find out more: 

Global Issues


Posted by Hello


Bone said...

interesting stuff.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's unfortunate that this basic information is so obscure. In North America, we know more about Paris Hiltons dog than we do about a billion starving people. Link back to any of the links if you can. Easy now....s