Monday, May 10, 2004

Another casualty in the war on terror 

The war on terror is harming some of the world's poorest people, and - guess what? - it's the West's fault.

"[UK charity] Christian Aid says the UK Government must reverse a 'dangerous drift' towards linking aid to the fight against terror... The report's lead author, John Davison, told BBC News Online: 'Some of the world's poorest people already paying for the war on terror as the giving of aid by the world's richest countries is ruled by the rhetoric of 'with us or against us. This must not be allowed to continue.

" 'The blurring of the line between humanitarian and development activity and military and security activity by donors' governments is dangerous'."
So on the face of it, Christian Aid seems to be arguing that Western governments shouldn't expect that in return for all the generous aid, its recipients should try to stop terrorists from using the recipient countries as home bases for attacks against the West. How dastardly and mean-spirited of the West.

Read more, and you'll also see that Christian Aid is objecting to the fact that some of the Western foreign aid budgets are being spent on the reconstruction of Afghanistan and Iraq, instead of going to more needy locations. And to the fact that some of the recipient countries are spending some of the aid money to fund their civil wars (like Uganda). This is hardly a news and has nothing to do with Western governments which donate money.

Don't worry though, even in the midst of the war on terror there still are no laws that would prevent private individuals and organisations such as Christian Aid from fund-raising and donating aid to whoever they want, with no strings attached (with exception of fund-raising for terrorist causes). Meanwhile, we shouldn't be too harsh on our governments, which want to spend the taxpayers' money to, in this case, ensure less bang for their buck.


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