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South Africa - An Aid Donor?

22 March 2012, 13:20

The stereotypical view of any African country is that it's a continent of death and war,infested with HIV/AIDS,that we are programmed and setup to fail and that we always want something from the more advanced or economically better developed nations.

Also we're a eager mob of beggars and perpetually physically-challenged individuals that's constantly holding out the beggar's bowl to receive aid in which ever form that might be in.Yet not many people look at how a country like South Africa had reverse this trend,by not wanting something from the rich, but instead giving something to the poor and needy.Does that surprise you?

South Africa currently has more than a third of Africa's entire GDP put together,so it's not that we can't afford giving aid to other African nations now is it? In 2011,South Africa flown in 180 tons of emergency aid to the drought stricken East African country of Somalia  and delivered a further 2,000 tons by sea to its capital Mogadish.Just yesterday at the Ministerial Meeting of the African Union's Peace and Security Council (PSC) in Bamako(Mali),South Africa agreed to providing humanitarian assistance, nutritional and emergency food aid to the four West African countries of Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Chad.

South Africa is said to provide 877 tons of fertilizer, 5 000 litres of bio pesticides as well as 12 000 protection kits for workers applying pesticides,all this to Niger alone. Added to that,South Africa will provide more than 11 000 tons of animal feed for cattle and goats, 9 000 000 doses of vaccine PPR for livestock, 103 500 tons of food grains, millet and sorghum. Also nutritional provisions for children and pregnant women, to cater for approximately 22 000 people in these drought stricken areas.


In Mali,South Africa will provide 45 886 tons of millet and sorghum as well as the dry seeds and potato seeds that is needed before the upcoming planting season. South African medics will also assist the "dysfunctional" feeding centres in caring for babies aged between 6 to 59 months and young children suffering from severe and moderate acute malnutrition.

Most of these areas have problems that are currently brought on by such things as environmental degradation, climate change and food insecurity. Other man made factors include the influx of displaced migrants that fled Libya just last year and not gone back because of the fighting that took place there,the increase in transnational organised crime,the terrorist activities and the illegal proliferation of weapons and arms deals.

Gift of the Givers,a South African disaster relief organization that was founded in 1992 has thus far helped 32 countries across the world by providing assistance and much needed aid.Offcourse most of South Africa's aid recipients are within the Southern African Development Community. However,the New Partnership for Africa's Development or Nepad, which is an initiative driven by South Africa, emphasises the need for regional co-operation and strong developmental focus beyond the SADC areas of Africa.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said way back in 1974:"Every man, woman and child has the right to be free from hunger and malnutrition". Back then a rallying call was made to eradicate hunger from the world within a decade. It has been nearly three decades since that statement went out and the world is worst off than it was in 1974,as mostly Africans are still very hungry and malnourished.

At least South African people are doing their part trying to address that problem wherever we are able to.South Africa provide countless services through their doctors,nurses,dental practitioners and other highly trained public servants and which service when calculated are worth at least $14.5billion worldwide.Extremely generous from South Africans?I would think so. 

References:

1.South African Government News Service.

2.www.guardian.co.uk/global.../2011/oct/.../who's--new-aid-donors.

3.The Africans giving aid to the world- Nkepile Mabuse and Teo Kermeliotis,CNN News.

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