Sunday, May 29

let the ferenjis feed 'em ... again

Ethiopia appeal after 'huge crop' from the BBC on May 4, 2005.
The Ethiopian government has issued an emergency appeal for food aid for more than three million people.

A UN spokeswoman in Ethiopia warned that 136,000 children were severely malnourished and that this figure could double over the next few months.

The announcement comes despite an announcement in January that Ethiopia, backed by UN agencies, had enjoyed a bumper harvest last year.

Some aid workers now say these figures were inflated for political reasons.

Ethiopians are going to the polls later this month, and the government did not want to appear to be in the middle of a serious crisis.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is also sensitive about the high-profile role he is playing as a member of the Africa Commission initiated by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Then this release from Oxfam the very same day. Donors Called on Carpet for Neglecting Ethiopia
"Somewhere along the line, three million Ethiopians have become a negligible statistic," said Abera Tola, who directs Oxfam International's humanitarian program in Ethiopia. Meanwhile, acute malnutrition and deaths continue to increase among young children. Outbreaks of measles, meningitis, and other contagious diseases are further endangering communities.
Yet just how quickly donor countries will respond to the new appeal is an open question.
The Ethiopian government hid a famine from aid donors so that it could bask in good press for a few months. So who is really neglecting Ethiopians?

There is an open working assumption in the world today that keeping Ethiopians alive is a job for ferenjis (foreigners) and not their rulers. We have seen this kind of nonsense before when economic growth was trumpeted but was actually dependent on rain, diaspora remittances and foreign aid alone.

See 'Zenawinomics' and the Aztec gods about high 2003-4 'growth' and On Borrowed Time about historical 2004-5 'growth'. See Ethnicity , Poverty and War and Malthus, Hobbes and the Red Queen to see that things are going to get worse in all economic sectors in the future if current policies continue.

Given the primitive idea of state ownership of land, which not incidentally provides for absolute control of rural populations, the situation can only worsen. The choice made by government for absolute control for a few and permanent famine for millions over freedom and growth is what revolutionary democracy is all about.

One of the oppostion leaders Dr. Berhanu Nega wrote the article Ethiopia’s Fate After One Generation which is well worth reading and which became the basis of the last post noted above.

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