foreign aid

For all ‘developing’ countries, total external debt owed in 2011 was $4.9 trillion and over the course of that one year they paid $620 billion servicing these debts.* in the same year, the total foreign aid supplied to the 'developing world’ through the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD was just $133.5 billion.*
This means that, in 2011 alone, for every $1 the creditor nations gave the so-called 'developing world’ in foreign aid, the debtor nations gave almost $5 back in debt repayments.
The whole premise of international development is called into question when the nations involved are giving with one hand while taking five times as much as the other. Rather than the mainstream narrative - of advanced industrial nations helping to 'develop’ inexplicably backward Third World nations, the mask is off. There is no 'developing’ world. Instead there are a host of countries being deliberately decivilized, in order that corporatised states benefit economically and geopolitically. The Debt Trap has been used to reorientate national economies to the service of unsustainable and unethical debt burden, in order to transfer wealth to the creditor institutions and nations.
—  Austerity: The Demolition of the Welfare State and the Rise of the Zombie Economy - Chapter One - Kerry Anne Mendoza
*Jubilee Debt Campaign

I can’t help but to laugh at the things I see on the Facebook page Being Liberal

Few problems. 

  • Federal aid directly to city: $108 million
  • Title 1 aid to public schools (sent to the city via the state): $200 million
  • Medicaid (federal portion): $600 million
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance: $575 million
  • EITC: $350 million
  • Pell Grants: $36 million
  • Social Security (based only on SSI recipients): $50 million
  • Medicare (based only on SSI recipients): 90 million
  • Housing vouchers, heating assistance, extended unemployment benefits, etc.: Not Included

Total: Over 2 billion dollars. This was as of 2013, so I’m sure the figures have grown. 

Detroit has been run by Liberals for over 50 years, and look at them. 

Detroit is not some foreign country, it is part of our country. And, it is where we are all going unless we reject the culture of dependency and revive the culture of self-responsibility. 

Julie Bishop has said that if Labor won’t let budget cuts go through the senate then it’ll be their fault if foreign aid gets cut.

“It's your fault and your responsibility, Tanya Plibersek, if this happens!” warned Julie. “If Labor doesn’t pass our budget cuts through the senate then we’ll be forced to cut foreign aid!”

She then went on to list more things to blame Labor for:

“If we don’t get the cuts we want I’ll be forced to literally cause the death of nearly half a million people due to lack of aid and it's your fault. I’ll do it.I’ll kill an African child… not even one in Africa. There’s one down the street who is really annoying because he yells a lot when he’s playing with his toys. Kids are so annoying. And it’ll be your fault. I’ll have to punch whoever gets within arms distance of me every Saturday too because it's your fault. I’ll poison some food down at the local supermarket. Not even going to say what food so it’ll be a mystery. Probably something cheap so I can knock off a poor person. It’ll be your fault too, Tanya. Your fault!”

“Nevermind that this is yet another broken promise” she continued. “You think that bothers me? We’re Liberals. We lie through our teeth as easily as breathing.” Then she barked a few times, growled for good measure, and stared at everyone in the vicinity until they all left due to discomfort at the sight of her never blinking eyes which witnesses later swore were glowing with a faint red hue.

Just when you thought Barack Obama couldn’t get any more out of touch with America’s values, AP reports his administration wants to make foreign aid decisions based on gay rights. …This administration’s war on traditional American values must stop.
—  A statement by Rick Perry • Criticizing President Obama over a memorandum he issued today, which stated broad support for advancing LGBT rights and protecting them from violence. It explicitly mentions the efforts of foreign governments to criminalize LGBT persons (the state of affairs in Uganda the last few years being one such galling example), and states that foreign aid will be directed to promote LGBT human rights. Rick Perry (clearly attempting to spark some momentum for his flat-lined bid for the GOP presidential nomination), decided to pounce, saying further: “Investing tax dollars promoting a lifestyle many Americas of faith find so deeply objectionable is wrong. President Obama has again mistaken America’s tolerance for different lifestyles with an endorsement of those lifestyles. I will not make that mistake." source (viafollow)
Why I don't wear TOMS and why one-for-one aid isn't all it's cracked up to be

External image

Read full article here.

The poster child for the in-kind donation model is TOMS, a shoe company which has gained substantial popularity for its socially conscious business model. TOMS allows its customers to donate through personal consumption with a one-for-one model, giving one pair of shoes to impoverished children for each pair purchased. The hope is that by freely giving shoes away, the gap between the haves and have-nots might be bridged.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Often, such methods of giving do more to suppress the economic growth of targeted areas than they do to help. Clothing donations have a consistent record of damaging local economies, specifically textile industries.

Remember that 1) good intentions are not enough (you can also read the blog by that name here) and 2) you need to understand the community and empower it, rather than importing and imposing ideas, if you want sustainable progress.


Super Typhoon Haiyan

U.S Marines based in Okinawa board a plane headed to the Philippines to provide humanitarian support, as 130 countries from around the world donate relief goods, funds and personnel to the devastated country. The U.S.S George Washington battle group is also headed to provide support.

In terms of size, Haiyan is the most powerful storm in recorded history to make landfall. In comparison, Hurricane Katrina, a category 5 hurricane had winds of 175 MPH and was 400 miles wide. Super Storm Sandy was a category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 MPH and was 900 miles wide. Haiyan actually went off the scale, with winds of 195 MPH and measuring in at 1,200 miles wide.

 Meanwhile, meteorologist and weather journalist Eric Holthaus was awed that Haiyan went off the charts as it approached the Philippines.
He pointed out that the US’ National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had issued a bulletin saying that the storm’s intensity could no longer be tracked using the widely-used Dvorak storm intensity scale.
“That means Haiyan (approached) the theoretical maximum intensity for any storm, anywhere. Put another way, the most commonly used satellite-based intensity scale just wasn’t designed to handle a storm this strong,” Holthaus explained.
“(I’ve) never seen that before,” he added.


Mark Hipwood spent 15 years providing medical aid to isolated villages in the Pacific Islands. Cracked sat down with him to learn the pains, pitfalls, frustrations, and reams of B.S. that go along with trying to make the world a better place.

5 Insane Things I Learned as a Foreign Aid Worker

#5. Nothing Can Prepare You for the Culture Shock

The kids didn’t think I was a god or anything, but my blazing whiteness was utterly alien to them. I looked like some sort of nightmarish cartoon character, only these kids hadn’t seen cartoons, either. If this was a movie, we would be just a few humorous misunderstandings away from realizing that deep down, all people are the same, you guys! But in real life, the gulf between cultures can be almost incomprehensible. I’m talking about things like the basic concept of time.

Read More

Canada pledges $5 million to Nepal earthquake relief efforts

The Canadian government is sending an assessment team to earthquake stricken Nepal and contributing $5 million to relief efforts, Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson’s office confirmed late Saturday.

The assessment team was part of the Disaster Assistance Response Team, known as DART, Johanna Quinney, Nicholson’s press secretary, said in an email. The military team is designed to deploy on short notice to deal with natural disasters or humanitarian emergencies.

Continue Reading.

House Clears $225 Million in Funding for Israel’s Iron Dome Defense System | WSJ

The House on Friday cleared a bill to provide $225 million in emergency aid to Israel for its Iron Dome defense system, sending the measure to President Barack Obama in a congressional effort to support the nation amid increased fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The measure passed 395-8. Mr. Obama, who requested the money, is expected to sign the bill.

Earlier in the day, the Senate approved the measure by unanimous consent on a day when most senators had left Washington for a five-week recess. House lawmakers remained in session Friday to debate and pass a bill to deal with an influx of Central American minors along the border with Mexico.

Israel launched an offensive against Gaza on July 8, and according to the Gaza Health Ministry, 1,600 Palestinians have died. The Israeli military says 63 of its soldiers have died, along with three civilians killed by rocket fire into Israel.

Almost 3,000 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel since the incursion began, according to the Israeli military. While Iron Dome has brought down most of those rockets, a couple got through the defense system last month. The U.S. temporarily barred flights to Israel’s main international airport.

“We will stand with you on the battlefield; we will stand with you in the court of public opinion, and we’re going to push back against the United Nations,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said on the Senate floor.

Earlier this week, the U.N. blamed Israel for a strike on a U.N.-run shelter for displaced Gazans, and warned of a humanitarian crisis with many in the Palestinian territory already lacking electricity and drinking water. Last week, the U.N.’s Human Rights Council established a commission of inquiry to investigate whether war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed.

Mr. Obama had requested $4.3 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations, including $3.7 billion for the border and $615 million to combat wildfires out west. The administration asked for the $225 million for Iron Dome separately.

National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said Israel had requested the money to speed up production of Iron Dome components and to maintain stockpiles.

Massive spending on food aid is not sustainable. Nor does it offer a solution. Instead, more money needs to be spent on building resilience to such crises over the longer term. It would take less than $1m to accurately map the economy of Somalia and the Greater Horn, showing trade routes and migration patterns, documenting the important businesses and businessmen, and detailing the mostly illicit trade in livestock, fish, charcoal and qat. Such a relatively small investment could help donor countries better to decide where their taxpayers’ money should be spent—and withheld.

The Horn of Africa: Where did the famine go? | The Economist

slowly, going to “dead aid” conclusions


For those interested, Doctors without Border is having a free LIVE webcast about the Syrian conflict 


. You may register for the event here 

Read more about the event: 

Join Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for an online discussion about the current situation in Syria and neighboring countries affected by the war. A panel of three experienced MSF aid workers recently returned from assignments with MSF’s emergency response to the crisis will share their views and experiences.

all photos from DWB and you can find out more about their work in Syria here