2 comments on “To Aid or Not To Aid?

  1. Do they betray the people they are supposed to be helping by implicitly supporting the government’s [internationally illegal] position by effectively locking up a swathe of their own citizens in glorified concentration camps?

    > I tend to step back from seeing humanitarian actors as the key agents who can drive the necessary political solutions. Would the situation be better without humanitarian response being there? Can hum. actors critically influence the outcome by being there or not being there? In very few rare cases perhaps, but mostly, I’m pretty skeptical.

    > Do we compromise our neutrality and impartiality in doing so?

    I reckon both of these concepts are a bit overrated. They are means to an end (access & hum space), not an end in themselves. Achieving the appearance of neutrality is much more important than neutrality itself. And besides, as you said in a recent post, you can feel and act as impartial as you like, doesn’t mean the pushtun chief in afg or north kivu “general” in drc is going to see you as anything but…..

    If you haven’t come across it ,’condemned to repeat’ (fiona terry) is a good read on these issues.

    great pics too, by the way.

  2. Pakistan is a big and complex country. There are many of us who are from there, lived there, contributed there but have been driven out by aid. We could get all the information you wanted and do a better job but aid will not allow us.

    All policy and social work is now is done by very expensive aid consultants who are focussed on peripheral issues. Pakistanis who are accomplished have only one option to leave the country. This is why you will see so many Pakistanis on Walls Street Silicone valley etc but none in universities or ministries.

    This process leaves the field open for consultants but institutions continue to die for institutions can only be build by local human capital.

    The failure of aid lies in its arrogance of assumption that institutions and governance can be built through consultants living on hardship allowance and commissary privileges and short trips from HQ. And we never question the quality of the consultant!

    By the way a long fundemntalism has only grown with aid and the brain drain!

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