Friday, August 26, 2005

Zimbabwe Refuses UN Aid

The Zimbabwean government has refused a $30 million UN aid program designed to provide food and medicine to over 300,000 people. (World News: Mugabe rebuffs UN plans for $US30m emergency aid). Over 700,000 people lost either their homes or their businesses in a sweeping urban demolition program imposed by Mugabe.

Refusal to accept this assistance underscores the problem with trying to provide aid to African countries. The Zimbabwean government is one of the most racist governments in Africa, and has already been the target of criticism by at least one UN report dealing with the urban demolition program.

That program has left an estimated 250,000 children homeless and has worsened the plight of up to 2.4 million Zimbabweans. Yet Mugabe has rejected UN emergency assistance out of a reluctance to "appear needy". It's important to keep in mind that South Africa recently rebuked the US for comments regarding the situation in Zimbabwe, stating that the affairs in Africa were none of our business.

I'm still at a loss to understand why we're wasting money and aid in a part of the world that either doesn't want it or, through government corruption, squanders it. Poverty is world-wide. Until the African governments are willing to accept our aid and allow that aid to get through to the people that need it, we should be devoting our efforts in other parts of the world. Poverty in Asia and South America need to be addressed as well. Perhaps in that part of the world, the aid will be better received and the people will actually benefit from our assistance. As to Zimbabwe, they're on their own. Until Mugabe's government changes its ways, I wouldn't send a single dime their way.


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