Alarming title, I'll give you that. Ok, I'm not the cruel heartless person this title insinuates but I am fed up with the repeated adverts pulling at my conscience for my evenly distributed among the rising utility bills and the need for personal and family nourishment, hard earned cash.
My question is, Why is this my problem? I don't deprive these children and their families of food, water and healthcare. The extreme horrors of poverty around the world are well documented, we can thank Bob Geldof for his well intentioned efforts there. Live aid pricked the conscience of the masses and created a moral imperative that we all responded to in our millions. He took the approach 'feed the child, forget the rest'. However, isn't the rest a vital component of eradicating poverty in the developing world. The rest consists of the following, war, tribal disputes, ethnic cleansing, drought and leaders who are simply self appointed hierarchy in the chase of money and power, their simply put 'greed' to the detriment of the very people they are supposed to care for.
After years of Billions and billions of dollars distributed all over the world to uplift these people out of poverty, it still persists, are we just giving them the fish instead of the fishing rod? There is absolutely no doubt that we need to help, we want to help, are we not being generous enough? This is after all, is happening on our watch. Yes Oxfam International will argue that yes they are giving these desperate populations the means to be self sufficient but is it really working? do we really trust where our money is going once we've popped it into the rattling can on the street corner or the guy with the bucket that caught us at the traffic lights? However well intentioned we all are, we are not the solution, perhaps there is no solution but we can look at the decades of history available on this subject to see that foreign aid does not work, social capitalism does, access to world markets does and with the implementation of the right policies even the most stricken nations can lift themselves out of the mire.
Foreign aid simply feeds the greed, perpetuates the corruption. Whilst we continue to give, the despots will continue to take. They will continue to feed their lavish lifestyles in a nationally unprecedented fashion under the guise of entitlement of rank and file whilst not giving as much as a fleeting thought to their suffering population. Military factions will demand payment from aid organisations before allowing them access to the dying. Local chieftans want their cut of the cake as do the local and national politicians. So what portion of the funds we give personally and that of our Governments actually reaches its intended recipient? I cannot help but think of Egypt in a somewhat loose but appropriate comparison. The Egypt's population had had enough of Mubarak's selfish unequal policies, what did they do, they rose up and ousted him and his minions, What did the western world do, we supported them though military means, yes this cost money, and ultimately public money at that, but the result was they got what they wanted in the end. Ok so it's debateable that what they ended up with could potentially be worse for a large percentage of the population, namely the women. As it would seem the Islamic Brotherhood is now running the show. The point is, the people need to change in order to change their circumstances, a complete paradigm shift is required in how nations think about poverty and its causes. Revolution begins at home as does charity.