I realise that this will create somewhat of a backlash but I suggest that Bob Geldorf's newest initiative must be viewed with his previous extravaganza, Live Aid, in mind two decades ago which created, in reality, more problems than it solved. Geldorf and Co. may have their hearts in the right place but I'm afraid the logic centres of their brains are not.
The vast majority of the money and aid in kind (that has been or will be) sent to the African states either went (or will go) into the pockets of corrupt politicians, so called aid organisations and warlord's coffers. Any money that did (does) trickle through to the general public resulted (will result) in increasing a population that already could not (can not) support itself. By Geldorf' own estimate at his recent press conference, 50'000 people in Africa die unnecessarily every day as a result of extreme poverty.
The facts speak for themselves-Africa is in a worse state now compared with 20 years ago, despite the umpteen millions sent as aid! The simple solution for the Western countries (that Geldorf and co wish to influence by his new project Live 8) is to get rid of the blatantly corrupt regimes and warlords (extreme force will probably be needed) and not to cancel the countries' debts, as suggested. The cancellation of the debts (of the corrupt regimes) will not ease the problem for the population on the bread line; it will just add more net national income for the corrupt to plunder before it gets anywhere near the needy. When the corrupt are cleaned out, then debt cancellation may be an option. The second is to educate the population not to bring children into their world where a massive percentage will not live more than 5 years of a miserable life. When those two objectives are achieved the misguided do-gooders such as Geldorf can then strum guitars, sing songs and rattle their tin cans to collect money and influence. In this situation the oxymoron, to be cruel, to be kind is sadly the logical route to be followed.
John Rule Sol de Mallorca
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