Saturday, June 02, 2007

Why Aid to Africa Should End

Ilana Mercer has an excellent column on the evils of foreign aid to Africa, where the people due to an irrational culture waste the aid given to them. An excerpt:

"In “Aid: Can It Work?” a frustrated Kristof has detailed many a failed effort to convince Southern Africans, for example, “to grow sorghum rather than corn, because it is hardier and more nutritious.” But because it has been given “out as a relief food to the poor… sorghum [has] become stigmatized as the poor man's food, and no one wants to have anything to do with it.” Hand out infant formula to HIV-infected women so they don't transmit the virus to their babies via breast milk, and the women, without exception, all dump the formula before they reach home: “Any woman feeding her baby formula, rather than nursing directly, is presumed to have tested positive for HIV, and no woman wants that stigma.” As a former AIDS counselor in South-Africa, I was told by my female clients what the use of prophylactics portends: African patriarchs don’t like protection; African women risk battery, and worse, should they insist on their, “like, reproductive freedoms.”

“In the heart of poverty-stricken Congo,” avers Kristof, “wrenching malnutrition exists side by side with brothels, beer joints, and cigarette stands.” Kristof admits reluctantly that the men spending their money in these fleshpots cannot be persuaded to put it, rather, toward their children. Kristof cites disturbing research suggesting education programs in Africa, also the cornerstone of anti-AIDS efforts, are ineffective. Giving people a pill, conversely, works quite well—only there is no pill against HIV/AIDS. In Africa, HIV/AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease afflicting heterosexuals, predominantly. The fight against it invariably entails the teaching of caution, restraint, and the curbing of instant gratification, to which too many Africans appear indisposed."


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