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« Criticism has good intentions but by gosh it hurts sometimes | Main | The slow death of integrity in Papua New Guinean politics »

05 September 2017


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There is a classic disconnection between the aid givers and the intended receivers.

What the aid recipients want and what they need may well be two different things. Short term handouts could well be like a 'sugar fix' and only create the desire for more.

Long term projects aren't also very desirable if you are currently starving.

The people in so called developed countries paying their taxes that contribute to overseas aid aren't always aware of either what is required or how to deliver what is required. They are too busy trying to survive in their own type of jungle. Mortgage rates, power costs, food and housing not to mention transport, children's education are just a few of the daily concerns. Most don't have time to take an interest in the next door neighbours let alone people in other countries.

So the political leaders make wonderful gestures during Parliamentary debates that assuage their consciences and allow a modicum of information to satisfy those of the public who actually take a fleeting interest in overseas aid. It also allows for useful budgets to organise overseas 'inspection' visits to check on what is happening in countries other than their own.

The veracity of surveys depends on what questions are asked and the target audience. Statistics are always able to be manipulated to suit the intention.

It;s a good thing Philip, we haven't become cynical in our senior years.

Under Julie Bishop's watch Australia has now effectively cut out the end beneficiaries of aid and simply given the money to the big business Australian aid contractors and the private companies and politicians in recipient countries.

She does this because she still believes in the discredited neo-liberal view that helping businesses creates 'jobs and growth'.

Surveys like this are interesting but they don't influence governments to change their ways. In reality it doesn't matter what the public thinks because government will ignore their view anyway.

Australian aid needs to be driven by humanitarian ideals, not political ideology.

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