Profiting from Poverty PDF Print E-mail

 Volume 4 1989

Imagine the heartache of bringing food to the starving, only to see them die in front of your eyes because the vitamin-enriched milk was too late. Then try and appreciate the outrage we feel when we see Soviet bloc ships exporting food out of Mozambique in return for the T54 tanks, MI-24 Hind attack helicopters and other military hardware imported into this starving country. Try and understand our shock as we witness the abuse of foreign aid and relief aid in these needy countries. Corruption, intrigue, the deliberate creation of famine, the manipulation of famine, the combination of scorched earth policies to starve out local resistance to the communist government, and forced relocations by starvation, cynically abusing the relief aid as a weapon in the civil war.

Then imagine our disgust as Western journalists, relief agencies and clergy men ignore this cold-blooded exercise in manufacturing poverty, starvation and death. Not only do most of them ignore it, many rush to praise, support and fund the Marxist dictatorship which is responsible for over one million deaths — in a country which used to export food. Worse than that, they fuel the corruption, rewarding tyranny for having starving people in their tropical country.

When Western democracies reward third world dictatorships for possessing millions of starving people, they do not encourage responsible government and free enterprise. Instead, they transfer of Western funds to these leaders encourages them to always have a resource of starving people. The more starvation in their country — the more hard currency and foreign exchange they receive. It doesn’t take greedy tyrants long to realise that the level of their Swiss bank accounts and the amounts of military hardware they can buy depends upon turning poverty and starvation into a growth industry, and photographs of the starving citizens then become their chief export.

It is disgrace that Africa needs to import food. Africa is not overpopulated. With 10% of the world’s population in 20% of the world’s land surface, Africa is more than three times the size of the United States of America, with the agricultural potential to feed the entire population of the world.

Yet the Ethiopian government has gained hard currency and foreignexchange by charging Western Relief agencies “import tax”, “harbour tariffs”, “docking fees”, “unloading fees”, “storage fees”, etc. on all the free relief aid brought into the country to feed the millions of starving victims of Socialism. The Marxists demanded that the relief agencies supply new Mercedes trucks for distributing the food and still charged 100% “import tax” on them, in addition to demanding that the trucks be handed over to the Ethiopian government after two years.

Over a million people starved to death in Ethiopia while the marxists exported food to Egypt and the Soviet bloc! Food was actually seen rotting on the docksides while the trucks were being used to ferry Cuban troops to burn down villages.

Dr Tedla, a former cabinet minister in Ethiopia, told me how the Marxists deliberately manipulated the famine in order to punish unco-operative tribes, to force their relocation policy and to starve out opposing tribes.

Since 1956 more than $2-trillion of foreign aid, relief aid, unpayed loans and other handouts have been provided from Western nations to Third World governments (euphemistically termed: “underdeveloped”, “developing” or “less developed countries”).

Far from aiding the African people, Foreign Aid has been a disaster, consistently having the opposite effect of that promised by its advocates. It has invariably increased the power and resources of totalitarian governments and bureaucratic control of already troubled economies (rather than benefiting the private sector).

It has retarded, rather than enhanced, development and made recipients more, not less, dependant on Western aid. Per capita income in real terms has dramatically decreased in many African nations since “independence” and “foreign aid”.

The starvation in large parts of Africa is not due to the (largely tropical) climate, nor to the (excellent) quality of the soil. The starvation in Africa is man made and is caused by corruption and socialism. It is freedom that Africa needs
not charity.

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