Sunday, June 26, 2005

Don't Give Money To Charities

My mother told me never to give money to mendicants - "It will only encourage them, dear".

Mark Steyn's take is similar.

If you really want to be charitable, you should send your cheque to the Pentagon or the Royal Australian Navy

Oxfam...paid the best part of a million bucks to Sri Lankan customs officials for the privilege of having 25 four-wheel-drive vehicles allowed into the country to get aid out to remote villages on washed-out roads hit by the Boxing Day tsunami. The Indian-made Mahindras stood idle on the dock in Colombo for a month as Oxfam’s representatives were buried under a tsunami of paperwork. Aside from the ‘tax’, they were charged £2,750 ‘demurrage’ for every day the vehicles sat in port.

This was merely the latest instalment in what’s becoming a vast ongoing Tsunami Tshakedown Of The Day retrospective — you can usually find it at the foot of page 37 in your daily paper, if at all.

Fourteen Unicef ambulances sent to Indonesia spent two months sitting on the dock of the bay wasting time, as the late Otis Redding so shrewdly anticipated.

Eight 20ft containers of Diageo drinking water shipped via the Red Cross arrived at the Indonesian port of Medan in January and are still there, because the Indonesian Red Cross lost the paperwork.

Five hundred containers, representing one quarter of all aid sent to Sri Lanka since the tsunami hit on 26 December, are still sitting in port in Colombo, unclaimed or unprocessed. At Medan 1,500 containers of aid are still sitting on the dock.

So what about Africa, the darling of aging pop-singers? Well:

The scale of the task facing Tony Blair in his drive to help Africa was laid bare yesterday when it emerged that Nigeria's past rulers stole or misused £220 billion.

That is as much as all the western aid given to Africa in almost four decades. The looting of Africa's most populous country amounted to a sum equivalent to 300 years of British aid for the continent.

Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, has spoken of a new Marshall Plan for Africa. But Nigeria's rulers have already pocketed the equivalent of six Marshall Plans. After that mass theft, two thirds of the country's 130 million people - one in seven of the total African population - live in abject poverty, a third is illiterate and 40 per cent have no safe water supply.

If you want to help corrupt counties, spend your money on our armed forces. Because without regime change, the people's suffering will never change.