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Disastrous Aid: South Asia and Africa

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The toll of South Asia’s earthquake passes 30,000 dead at the same time millions of tsunami and hurricane survivors are beginning to make sense of their lives. Aid is slowly making its way into Pakistan from around the world just as it did for the survivors of other natural disasters.

As accountability becomes increasingly more important, the relief gets more direct. We’ve seen photographs and footage of supplies dumped right on to the ground where people stood in New Orleans, Sri Lanka, and even Baghdad. Today we can see similar pictures coming in from Kashmir.

Meanwhile, back at the origin of man, no such accountability exists. African aid that hasn’t been misdirected or mishandled is just missing. Despite billions of dollars in relief and a staggering mortality rate, there are still millions of hungry and sick people in many African nations waiting for aid. While we’ve blamed violence and corruption for thwarting the relief efforts, we’ve used violence and corruption to both justify and wage the war on terror. Clearly, the world knows how to get where it wants to go, it just doesn’t want to go to Africa.

It’s hard to hear the cries of the African people over the din of warring factions. Hunger, disease, rape camps, and genocide have muffled their voices. But if you really listen, you might here them crying out for something more globally palatable — like a tsunami, a hurricane, or an earthquake.

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About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.
  • The Searcher

    Nothing like a disaster to stir up temporary empathy.

  • Nancy

    Maybe it’s “compassion fatigue”, but I’ve stopped caring any more. Every week there’s a new “tragedy” somewhere, another crisis, another major disaster, and hordes of people & organizations all panhandling for my money – & they’re very bald about it: they don’t want any other kind of help; they just want money. Africa is even more feckless: it seems no matter how many millions or billions are poured into Africa, the people are always starving from famine (mainly it seems to me brought on by their own refusal to control their population), drought, wars, disease, this, that, and you name it. The only disaster Africa hasn’t had yet seems to be bird flu. Comes a point where if they can’t start helping or governing themselves after all the help they’ve been given, then screw ’em.

  • The Searcher

    Oh my, those are some very politically-incorrect sentiments, Nancy :)

  • Nancy

    I’m tired of “politically in/correct”, too. Y’know what? Edward Bennett may be a scumbag, but he has the right to say whatever he thinks. So does Grande, so does Silas, so does Eric, so does the pope, so does Falwell, so does anybody however obnoxious, & so do I. I’m sick of everyone having to mealy-mouth around because they might offend somebody. It’s bad enough the politicians do it, but now everyone’s supposed to toe the line also? Screw that, & everyone left & right, or in various ‘minorities’ (which aren’t, any more) or supposedly oppressed groups can go hang themselves.

  • The Searcher

    Nancy: How do I like thee? Let me count the ways…

  • diana hartman

    Comes a point where if they can’t start helping or governing themselves after all the help they’ve been given, then screw ’em

    what should starving and dying people be doing to help and govern themselves?