Monday, July 04, 2005

U. S. is no. 1 in Aid to Africa - by a lot

This report quotes a report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and The Hudson Institute saying that the U. S. private sector, overall, gives 15 times as much as the European Union and more than the U. S. government. In addition, the large immigrant population in the U. S. sends back 40.1 billion dollars annually to foreign countries.

This is a whole lot more than loudmouth penny ante programs like Live 8 and Make Poverty History are claiming that we give. The totals are mind boggling: Church collections, philanthropists and company-giving amounted to 22 billion dollars, American churches, synagogues and mosques alone gave 7.5 billion dollars in 2003, more than the totals of the governments of either France or Britain. The study found that 6.2 billion dollars a year is donated by independent US organisations, $2.7 billion by US companies and $2.3 billion by US universities and colleges, mainly through scholarships, to reach an overall private US donations total of 22 billion dollars.

Add that $22 billion to the government's estimated $16.3 billion plus the remittances of $40.1 billion and we arrive at a total of 78.4 billion dollars in Aid to Africa. Wow. One wonders where it all goes.

Well, not really. Africa is full of tin pot dictators from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, waging war on one another and their own people, marrying 10-20-30 or more times and spending millions on every wedding, maintaining palaces, fleets of cars, armies of servants, well equipped armies, paying for shopping sprees to Paris, chopping off hands and arms of children, forcing young girls into sexual slavery and buying modern weapons to carry on the fight against whomever for whatever reason. All of this while begging for money, debt relief, AIDS medicines and accusing America of responsibility for Africa's problems because of slavery which we abolished in 1864.

I don't understand how the Portuguese skate out of this all the time. 35% of all the slaves taken out of Africa by the Western route between 1492 and 1992 (that's right, folks, 1992) went to Brazil. Only 8% of the total went to America and for most of that time America was British, French and Spanish colonies, not The United States.

Just askin'.

Others:
The Daily Ablution - Compare and Contrast; Sanity at the Indy
The Captain - Guardian Shifts The Live-8 Goalposts
Silent Running - Why hasn't Pope Benedict canonised Bob Geldof yet?
Publius Pundit - Live 8's Fake Revolution
Professor Bainbridge - Live 8
PoliPundit - Heartless Conservative
Sciencegate - A├žai smoothies vs. direct foreign aid
Ranting and Rambling - Tariffs are bad. Okay!
Andy Merritt - Bogger gone mad?
Post No Bills - Climate change, carbon credits and the other CC
Recidivist - Make Tyanny History
SeeSaa.net - News from Africa
My Initials - Live 8 London
Ursala's Not So Secret History - Live 8 Concerts
The Disenchanted Forest - it's Bush Administration lie #8,962
Zen and the Art of Guitar Maintenance - The Entertainment Factor
Bloggledygook - 2 Views of Live 8
Scribal Terror - Something must be done, even if it doesn't work
Global Voices Online - African Blog Roundup
The Kenya Connection - Live 8
Mambo's Blog - Live 8 should have had African Bands
Black Looks - Naja Blog Roundup
OTB - Bush: US Will Drop Farm Subsidies if EU Does Same

2 comments:

titilayo said...

Africa is full of tin pot dictators from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, waging war on one another and their own people, marrying 10-20-30 or more times and spending millions on every wedding, maintaining palaces, fleets of cars, armies of servants, well equipped armies, paying for shopping sprees to Paris, chopping off hands and arms of children, forcing young girls into sexual slavery and buying modern weapons to carry on the fight against whomever for whatever reason. All of this while begging for money, debt relief, AIDS medicines and accusing America of responsibility for Africa's problems because of slavery which we abolished in 1864.

While I do agree that political leadership in Africa often leaves much to be desired, it should be recognized that Africa is not "accusing America of responsibility for Africa's problems because of slavery which we abolished in 1864". In addition to slavery and the slave trade, the First/developed world (not just the US) governments and corporations ruthlessly exploited the resources of the African continent for centuries, while keeping African people in subjugation, systematically denying them opportunities for improvement and development and treating them as inferior beings. They imposed artificial boundaries, installed and shored up corrupt governments headed by despots and "tin pot dictators", helped these dictators hide millions of dollars/pounds/francs away in foreign bank accounts, used African countries and leaders as pawns in the Cold War, abandoned them when they were no longer "needed" or useful, sold armies and guerilla forces the machetes and modern weapons that they've used to chop off limbs and "carry on the fight against whomever". The Western World is far from blameless when it come to Africa's current plight.

Andy Merrett said...

I agree that the US as a whole gives a large pot of money - and yes a lot is lost to African corruption. Nevertheless, it is true that a lot of governments could afford to give more. That is a fact.

Of course the private sector, and particularly NGOs, charities, faith groups etc. give large proportions of money and other aid - I never disputed that.

By the way, you might want to point a trackback at the original article I wrote - unless you're saying that I've gone mad :)