Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Best Way To Give

There's a better way than charity to help unfortunates in corrupt countries - use our armed forces to get help to the people who truly need it. The tsunami showed the way.

Sky News reported in June, hat tip muppetlord:

Six months on from the tsunami a new report has warned that aid is not reaching the people who need it most.

Oxfam says landowners and businesses are being prioritised in the rebuilding process at the expense of low profile, poverty-stricken communities.

In a high trust society that would make sense - rebuild the jobs first. But in the low trust, corrupt societies hit by the tsunami, the landowners and businesses are the corrupt ruling elite.

Sky News also shows that the US and Australia know how to give aid the right way:

Many of the countries that promised money to help rebuild after the Boxing Day tsunami have so far failed to honour their pledges, according to the United Nations.

Australia was the worst offender. Its government promised £236m but donated only £17m - just seven percent.

The US, the world's richest nation, has given £72m - despite George Bush saying he would give nearly £200m in aid.

Of course Sky News is just counting cash, not the cost of the huge military efforts mounted by the US and Australia. They were first to arrive and they turned the situation around. The late lamented Diplomad has excellent detail on what they achieved,here, here, here, and here:

In these times of gentleness and political correctness, we all must acknowledge that we're all special in our own way. We each do what we can best do. Americans and Australians are good at saving lives and the world; the UN is good at asking for money and going to conferences. We're sure both talents are equally valid; we shouldn't judge one better or worse than the other.

So no US or Australian taxpayer dollars vanished into into the Swiss bank accounts of the elites, and the suffering poor were rescued and fed. The Brits should try this.