14 Reasons NOT to donate to Somalia

09/08/2011 at 10:07 pm 7 comments

Under a heartbreaking photograph of Adam, a five-year-old Somali boy who is clearly starving, Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad recently listed 14 reasons for not giving money to help the Horn of Africa – and one good reason for giving. It went on to tell its readers: “The decision is yours”.

The article received widespread condemnation on Twitter, which in turn provoked the newspaper’s editor, who used Twitter to complain about the ‘stupidity’ of many of the Twitter comments, as “obviously” the final paragraph (the one positive reason) was the crucial one.

It seems, rather than stupidity on the part of its readers, the newspaper should blame itself. What undoubtedly was intended as a contribution to debate ended up being an example of how media headlines are often stronger than the articles themselves. Something a newspaper editor should know…

The 14 negative points deal with issues like political strife and problems with distribution. The one reason to give is the simple fact that “hundreds of people are dying every day in Somalia. And without sufficient aid that number will rise quickly.”

Here are the reasons given why people should NOT donate:

  1. The hunger in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda is not the result of a natural disaster, but is man-made: the result of failing government policies.
  2. Insufficient rains and failed harvest are part and parcel of farmers and nomads in the Horn of Africa. Countries in the region have invested too little in agricultural development to build up sufficient reserves. They prioritised defence spending over rural development.
  3. Food aid covers up the real causes of hunger, such as poverty, over population, badly functioning markets and disastrous agricultural policies. It lets governments off the hook.
  4. Food aid strengthens and legitimises failing regimes.
  5. Ethiopia has sold or leased hundreds of millions of acres of fertile agricultural land to foreign investors.
  6. Famines are preventable, says Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize winning economist. And they don’t occur in functioning democracies.
  7. Food scarcity in Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan are partly caused by conflict. Somalia has been a ghost state for over 20 years. South Sudan has just got independence after half a century of civil war. Ethiopia has been fighting rebels for some 30 years.
  8. Food aid fuels and sustains conflicts, and is used as a weapon by warring factions, says Alex de Waal in Famine Crimes.
  9. Governments, UN and aid agencies have not acted soon enough. The Famine Early Warning System set up after the Ethiopian famine of 1984/85 had issued predictions of a bad harvest last year already.
  10. Food aid fuels corruption. The WFP has been paying bribes to Somali warlords for years, and so do other aid agencies. The UN Monitoring Group on Somalia reported widespread fraud in food aid to that country.
  11. Two years ago, Human Rights Watch’s ‘From Horror To Hopelessness’ report criticised the UNHCR’s treatment in Daadab of Somali refugees. The camp, designed for 90,000 people is now home to 400,000 people.
  12. In the Horn of Africa, famine will be permanent and unavoidable as long as food production lags behind population growth. The region’s population will grow in the 2006-2015 period by 40%, to some 224 million.
  13. Food aid is addictive.
  14. Famine in the Horn of Africa threatens some 12 million people: peanuts compared to the 913 million people that are going hungry world wide, out of sight of news cameras. Add to that the 2 million people that are undernourished through a lack of vitamins and minerals. Worldwide, 28,000 people die each day of hunger. Emergencies such as those in Africa get the media attention, but only account for 8% of the global hunger problem.

And the reason for giving?

The article finishes by stating:

1. In Somalia, hundreds of people die each day. Without sufficient assistance, that number is set to increase rapidly. Tens of thousands of children will be stunted in their physical and intellectual growth by the lack of sufficient and nutritious food. They will carry the legacy of this famine for ever. They cannot do anything about the many valid reasons for not donating.

Entry filed under: Overseas aid. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Discussing Ireland’s aid programme Despite the hunger crisis, 2 out of 3 developing countries are on track to halve poverty.

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. luciee  |  17/08/2011 at 1:09 am

    WTF?? U INHUMAN TWAT! no-matter what is going on overthere, you cant sit back and watch them die of hunger!! I hope god starves you one day so you can feel the paiin theyre going thru

    Reply
    • 2. Zoe  |  05/09/2011 at 9:31 pm

      oh my this is just the type of over-dramatic response we all await. They aren’t saying don’t donate. If you’ve actually read this article you’ll understand that all the reasons are valid, however I have donated because there are still lives at risque. Its such a tricky situation. The refugees need to get out of there, they are living no kind of life, most have been there for years and are reliant on aid being sent. A woman living there from Somalia actually said that aid should stop being sent because it would force people to move. In the short run my donation may have saved a life but in the long run it may have helped sustain the camp and therefore taken life because that camp is a poverty trap and is doing nothing but bad for the state of Africa.

      Reply
  • 3. Dougg  |  17/08/2011 at 1:10 am

    Maaann that is low! I agree with lucie, so matter wat is happening over there with the weather and all, you should still give money to people who r straving.. U are a sick bastard -_-

    Reply
  • 4. Christine  |  10/09/2011 at 3:56 am

    I feel like “luciee” and “Dougg” didn’t read the article, only the title, and chose to interpret it in the most dramatic manner possible. I like Zoe’s response, so.

    Reply
  • 5. :)  |  13/02/2012 at 11:32 pm

    Agreed with “Christine”. The thing is this, however much people donate to these places, they don’t realize what percentage of it actually reaches those in need. Much of it will be stolen and hijacked by the terrorists and warlords. With food, they rob the free donations to sell to the needy for many times of the food’s actual price; with money, the warlords would shamelessly buy guns and weapons to kill the very people you want to save.

    In short, you can donate, nobody’s stopping you… but why would you want to? >_>

    Reply
  • 6. Samantha  |  21/10/2014 at 3:15 pm

    Your a fücking idiot for writing those whole thing 😒 they obviously need these donations. Whoever the hell you are should honestly delete this whole page before you get reported.

    Reply
  • 7. Dóchas  |  21/10/2014 at 5:30 pm

    Samantha, you just might want to read the last paragraph…

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 210 other followers

Archives

Dóchas on Twitter

The World's Best News - images

Well done, @ugaasadda "One Woman Challenges Perceptions of Somalia One Instagram Post at a Time"

Read more: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2015/02/22/one-woman-challenges-perceptions-of-somalia-one-instagram-post-at-a-time/ How a peaceful movement 
changed a violent country.

BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-32882520 How a peaceful movement 
changed a violent country.

BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-32882520 "Normally, a city is for people not vehicles. We want to turn Kigali into a pedestrian-friendly city." #Rwanda is rolling out a new strategy to boost public transport and improve its cities. 
Read more at http://allafrica.com/stories/201508250223.html Faced with drought , Tanzanian farmers plant MORE trees to protect their food crops.

Read more: http://www.scidev.net/global/farming/multimedia/tanzanian-farmer-brings-forest-back-to-life.html?utm_content=buffer5af8c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer As part of a project called "The Tribal Voice", the Guarani and Yanomami peoples of South America have received waterproof phones and solar panels to give them more say in political and economic developments affecting their land. "We believe that the powerful videos we are seeing will galvanise more action by more people and create pressure governments will be unable to ignore.” Read more at: http://www.scidev.net/global/indigenous/news/tribal-groups-indigenous-people-survival-struggle.html#sthash.ZM4JnKKq.dpuf On September 17th hundreds of volunteers around the country will mobilise to spread the positive news of development!

They will be handing out "the World's Best News newspaper" and joining in other activities nationwide. 
We would love to have you on board! 
If you would like to be involved in the distribution/ activities on the day please register here: 
https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/get-involved-with-the-worlds-best-news-2015-tickets-17920797588 Data published by the UN show that the number of people living in extreme poverty has been cut from 1.9 billion to 836 million.

Read more: https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/07/how-much-global-poverty-fallen-past-25-years/ Unlike other slums in #Mexico, Las Palmitas district of Pachuca is a rainbow of colours. The area is not just prettier, but also a safer place to live.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/01/mexico-pachuca-mural-las-palmitas-public-art - Photo: Sofia Jaramillo/AP The world's fastest growing economies:

Half of the countries in this list of 13 booming economies are in Africa: 
http://worldsbestnews.tumblr.com/post/125151379280/the-13-fastest-growing-economies-in-the-world #positivenews The first #malaria vaccine has received the green light from European regulators, opening the door for vaccination campaigns for infants in #Africa.

Malaria is a disease of poverty. It affects poor people disproportionately, and it fuels poverty, as it slows economic growth and worsens other disease burdens, particular HIV and Aids.

But there is good news: The number of malaria deaths has almost halved since 2002, and now a new malaria vaccine has been approved, which should help protect very young #children against the disease.

Read this article: http://www.scidev.net/global/malaria/news/malaria-vaccine-green-light-mosquirix.html?utm_content=buffer1ea54&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Also read: http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/malaria-treatment-vaccine-research-1428826-Apr2014/

Visitors Map

Map

Dóchas Photos

1506_77

1506_76

More Photos

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 210 other followers

%d bloggers like this: