Friday, December 31, 2004

Aid and it's effect

But enough of this comparing countries by their level of donation. Either donation is taxation in which case we have an obligation to chase after anyone who does not pay their fair share or it is a choice by each individual person or nation to donate what they feel they can spare particularly if it will give them the rewarding feeling of having helped.

Not to discourage anyone from giving aid but as Thaksan (primeminister of thailand) has said himself Thailand for example does not "desperately" need monetary aid. It like most of the countries are perfectly capable of borrowing the money required to address the tragedy (although I have some fears for Sri Lanka and Myanmar if they are hiding their casualties). Aid to the country thus effectively displaces borrowings assuming good governance.

Don’t let that stop you from giving of course, I hardly want to be a force for selfishness, infact I see aid as somthing that creates value in he who gives as well as the one who recieves. So to avoid doing that I shall add -

One can easily make the argument that the governments of the region do not provide the level of care you wish, or that they will not generally give certain types of aid at a individual level for policy reasons, the sort of care Red Cross would provide and that the more funding they have the more influential they will be in providing the care. Also particularly in cases like srilanka it is possible that the country really cannot afford the costs of the disaster and that aid would help to avoid having to take crippling loans and any delays that a lack of credibility might imply.

The greatest aid then seems to be expertise - the engineers and the people who identify bodies and the doctors the planes and ships for transporting things - and anything else that cannot be bought. Then there is aid in kind like that offered by phizer - with cash total value $35 million that’s REALLY generous.

However - I have also heard people argue money is better than physical aid because then the countries or organizations involved can choose how to spend it. I guess there are many ways to look at it - what do you think?

by the way - I also note for all the critical people on the radio the other day - Thaksan's company has put up $10 million plus the possibility of more.


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