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Aid To Africa: Throwing Money Down The Drain?

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A fair, tough-minded article in the NYT that looks at the rampant corruption infecting many African countries. We can argue for days about the root causes, but the simple fact is that corruption is a real problem when tackling the dire poverty and disease of the continent. It's one reason, I think, John was arguing that it's too simple-minded to say that all the current blame for the sorry state of that region is on the heads of the Western powers. But even Bush says about 7 countries meet his strict standards for nations that are on firm enough footing to ensure aid isn't wasted and another six are close. And we could funnel aid to international health orgs to try and help the other countries that don't qualify.

A few more points. Here's an Independent story from the UK about Mozambique, one nation that is a nascent success story. And here's an inspiring NYT interview with Paul Farmer, who has been fighting to get decent health care to third world countries. Finally, how come the far right never complains when the US throws money at corrupt monarchies and military dictatorships like the oil rich Saudis or Pakistan, but the minute you try to feed starving children in Africa they get in a lather over how THOSE countries are corrupt?

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