FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Sunday, April 29, 2012

7 Worst International Aid Ideas- Worth Your Time to Read

I don't agree with everything in this article but the author does make

a few great points:

On 50 Cent in Somalia:
  1. If you Like Fifty’s Facebook page — without even buying the drink — a child, presumably in Somalia, gets fed.
  2. We can infer that there is a pot of dollars somewhere earmarked for feeding needy children. Two million meals worth of feeding if you count the million Like-meals plus the potential million bonus.
  3. Those meals, while they could be donated, and have presumably been budgeted for, willnot be, except to the extent that you give Street King props online.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is called extortion. Dramatically photographed, concealed-as-humanitarian-activism, extortion. I can feed so very many meals to these starving children, but I won’t unless you give me something.
On making food aid the same colour as cluster munitions:
"Probably the most devastating screw-up in the history of helping was the decisions that lead to cluster munitions and daily food ration packets both being coloured canary yellow."

From Matador Network

and a couple of others one that are worthy of deeper thought and discussion:

On using USAID as a foreign policy tool (I can see both sides):

"In 1990, on the eve of the first Gulf War, Yemeni Ambassador Abdullah Saleh al-Ashtal voted no to using force against Iraq in a security council session. US Ambassador Thomas Pickering walked to the Yemeni Ambassador’s seat and retorted, “That was the most expensive No vote you ever cast.” Immediately afterwards, USAID ceased operations and funding in Yemen."

On becoming a machine gun preacher (I  waffle on this one):

"No matter how much you care to help the women/children/villages/gorillas in a particular warzone, trying to solve what is in effect a problem of armed insecurity through establishing another minor armed militia is never a good idea."