Monday, June 26

So Much Ill and So Little Good

William Easterly, the author of The White Man's Burden : Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good begins his book stating that there are two tragedies for the world's poor.

First, that so many suffer because they lack access to existing inexpensive solutions and second, that the $2.3 trillion (that is $2,300,000,000,000 in cash money / 23 followed by eleven zeros or 2.3 thousand billion bucks!) spent on foreign aid over the last five decades has still not managed to get those existing inexpensive solutions to the poor. Indeed, foreign aid often makes the lives of the poor far worse.

This point of view is a far cry from the Jeff Sachs school of "throw so much money at the third world that even the most rapacious elites can't manage to steal it all ... then maybe something good will happen ... maybe". The Easterly book manages to actually judge and evalutate human reality and the results of aid, accountability, institutions and governance.

His scholarship encompassess the modern history and policy of economics and aid with a sharp eye out for what actually works ... not what it is easy or convenient to accept. We will try and let the book speak for itself as we admittedly cherry pick through it. We were impressed with this work because the author agrees with us on many things sure, but mainly because he brings decades of broad scholarship and intimacy with the subjects at hand to the fore - all supported by fact that he constantly evaluates and questions.

Page numbers are from the 2006 Penguin Press edition.


Some aid is expected to have impact on growth in the short term while other forms like humanitarian aid are expected to help in the long term. A study from the IMF in 2005 revealed that there was "no evidence that either 'short impact aid' or any other aid had a positive impact on growth." (p. 49)

The results of studies from the Center for Global Development, which have been used by Sachs and Blair to justify quadrupling or at least a doubling of aid under the MDGs and the Commission for Africa actually showed that "aid had a zero effect on growth whe it reached 8 percent of the recipent's GDP, and after that the additonal aid had a negative effect on growth". (p. 50)

A 2000 World Bank Study stated that "[d]espite the billions of dollars spent on development assistance each year, there is still very little known about the actual impact of projects on the poor". (p.194) Indeed, "bureacracies will devote effort more to activities that are more observable and less to activities that are less observable". (p. 179)

Observable can mean headlines or simply amounts of cash involved or just some combination of hype thereof. Popular accountability could make the less observable more important but there is, according to Yale Professor James Scott an "inherent contradiction between planning ... and democratic politics" that are normally implied by accountability. (p. 145)

Easterly says that the IMF and the World Bank don't show respect for democracy in general. The IMF charter officially bans consideration of domestic politics "[b]ut a problem with the apolitical approach is that it is not apolitical. Supporting a sitting government with funds is unavoidably a political act". (p. 147)

Taking up the example of Mobutu and numberous IMF bailouts he received Eaterly notes that the thefts were no secret. The brutal selfishness of local dictators began long before aid even began - one early 19th century observer noted of Haiti that
The present government seems to consider the poverty and ignorance of the people as the best safeguards of the security and permanence of their own property and power.
Dictatorships like the Duvaliers got credits galore when aid began although nothing changed politically. (p.149) Later in 2001 Congo the World Bank went out of its way to give the Kabila fils government 'early wins' but "[d]idn't explain why it wished on the Congolese people a government made up of political actors who had demostrated an exceptional ability to use violence". (p.289)

Easterly points out that while the rich can use their money and power in markets and accountable government that the poor are utterly alone against governments whose interests may have nothing to do with their own. "The central problem is that the poor are orphans; they have no money or political voice to communicate their needs or motivate others to meet those needs" while no one in the aid circuit considers what may actually work and what may not actually work. (p. 167)
Please understand that the foreign aid problem is inherently difficult because of the complexity of development, the weak power of the poor, and the difficulty of getting feedback from beneficiaries and of learning from failure. Throw into the trash can all the comprehensice frameworks, central plans, and worldwide goals. Just respond to each local situation according to what people in the situation need and want. (p.206)
Accountability for public services is called democracy. (p. 381)
donors also put a positive spin on awful recipient governments by asserting that while things are bad, they are getting better. The use of gerunds such as "developing," "emerging," and "improving." The language effects even scorecards that are supposed to hold governments accountable for poor results. (p.138)
The issue of playing with words in the face of millions suffering and billions being wasted comes up again with 'loans' - "[c]alling a loan to the poorest countries a 'loan' has become even more fictional. (p. 232) Then there is the issue of foreign aid volume as though it is an input to development and not an output.
Advocates for the world's poor throughout the decades have focused on increasing the volume of foreign aid. The recommended increase displays a strange fixation on double.
McNamara defined success at the World Bank in the 60s and 70s in terms of doubling loan volumes (p. 182) This trend has continued through to Blair, Sachs and the vast aid apparatus of which they are only the most visible elements.

Another issue beyond brutality and corruption is that of the society itself. As Francis Fukayama also pointed out in Trust Easterly quotes a pair of World Bank economists who "found that low income societies have less trust than rich societies, and societies with less trust have less rapid economic growth". (p.79)

Now imagine the result when a local government strives to create LESS TRUST in a society by tribal divide and rule and/or the creation of a police state. In previous paper by Easterly and Levine 'Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions' reviewed in Foreign Dispatches the authors define these problems and their costs
Africa's economic history since 1960 fits the classical definition of tragedy: potential unfulfilled, with disastrous consequences. In the 1960s a leading development textbook ranked Africa's growth potential ahead of East Asia's and the World bank chief economist listed seven African countries that "clearly have the potential to reach or surpass" a 7 percent growth rate.

Yet, these hopes went awry. On average, real per capita GDP did not grow in Africa over the 1965-1990 period, while, in East Asia and the Pacific, per capita GDP was over 5 percent and Latin America grew at almost 2 percent per year. Much of Africa has even suffered negative per capita growth since 1960, and the seven promising countries identified by the World Bank's chief economist were among those with negative growth. Sub-Saharan Africa's growth tragedy is reflected in painful human scars.
Easterly also identifies what works. For example financial markets are a source of free market efficiency and create opportunities for the creation of wealth by borrowing and investing resulting in a positive feedback loop (p. 76) of service for the supposed consumers of economic growth - the so called people.

Another crucial element is property rights which underly financial markets and economic growth. "Property rights are an incentive to accumulate assets over time and across generations, which is often necessary to have a productive capacity to meet consumer needs. When I sacrifice consumption to buy land, factories,or other assets, I don't want someone else seizing those assets. (p. 90)

Easterly makes two crucial points on what should be done.
The utopian agenda has also led to an unproductive focus on trying to change whole political systems. The status quo - large international bureaucracies giving aid to large national government bureaucracies - is not getting money to the poor. Conditions on aid don't work to change government behavior.
Remember, aid cannot achieve the end of poverty. Only homegrown development based on the dynamism of individuals and firms in free markets can do that. (p.368)
Above all the author is opposed to BIG PLANS that are supposed to change the world with just a few tens of billions more. What is really needed is FREE PEOPLE.


There is no reason to believe that as things stand in the aid game that countries like Ethiopia will do better for their people in the future. Ethiopia is a clear case of how divergent the interests of rulers and ruled can actually be - and how divergent the interests of the ruled and the 'development partners' of the rulers can be as well.

The Ethiopian government is doing everything wrong IF one assumes that its aim is development. From the point of view of gaining more power and money for a tiny aristocracy from day to day while the getting is good, then the Ethiopian government is doing everything right.

Remember the quote above from the early 19th century observer of Haiti that
The present government seems to consider the poverty and ignorance of the people as the best safeguards of the security and permanence of their own property and power.
We all want to assume that such is not the case and that generosity erases poverty because it is more often easier to believe so than to accept how really bad a government can be or how complex the world is.

Ethiomedia posts a recent article by a Western reporter who quotes an embassy official
"With direct budgetary support, donors aren't just dating the Ethiopian government, they're married to it".

A key force in earning that trust was Meles Zenawi. The prime minister, as both critics and fans will say, is a persuasive man, able to talk like a democratic reformer or a World Bank technocrat when needed.

"I always thought that Meles was going to save this country," says a long-time Western diplomat based in Addis.

"He comes across as a calm and rational leader, but right under the surface is a hard-core ideologue with a psychopathic willingness to kill his own people to keep power." (Like most people interviewed for this article, the official refused to be identified.
To us this is a bit like the scene in the classic movie Casablanca where Rick's casino is shut down by an official who is "shocked , shocked to find out that gambling is going on" - in the next shot the same official is handed his roulette winnings as he orders everyone out.

You see, all WANTED desperately to believe in Meles DESPITE all evidence because it served the purposes and illusions of all concerned - except the 70 million Ethiopians who it was all suppposed to be about.

Foreign aid donors are the sole consituents of the government and they are only fitfully concerned with the brutality towards and future economic prospects of the government's 70 million hostages to donor good behavior. Donor good behavior is defined in terms of the respect and above all the money paid into the coffers of government and the elites at their core. None of this is a secret to anyone concerned.

Donors give money for a host of geopolitical reasons that have nothing to do with development and growth. Aid given for frank feelings of altruism or the betrayal of feelings of altruism are all served with the now ridiculous notion that 'at least something is being done'.

Aid has created an Ethiopian political system designed to serve aid donors as long as they don't touch the political power of the government or even look too hard to see how the 'people' are being served. The donors play along at every level. The governments as we noted have realpolitik interests while their bureaucrats and NGO bureaucrats have career interests in the status quo and the promised 'doubling' of aid with no view to results.

The Ethiopian government dictates who is hired locally and internationally by NGOs. Indirectly for foreigners but it is clear that if they don't play ball they won't do well dealing with the government. Ethiopians, native or foreign based must be ... 'cooperative' and serve the interests of the government more directly to be acceptable to the regime.

Every measure of NGO operation is thus influenced by one of the most brutal, corrupt and least attractive to foreign investment regimes on earth. This is mutely accepted as the price for building careers and that proverbial 'chance to make a difference'. Both government or NGO bureaucrats are graded far more by how they get along with the local dictator and his minions or by pushing paper back and forth than by any measurable sort of results.

This is why absurd government claims of growth or investment are largely met with cooperative and complicit silence from the aid community. To them it makes no difference anyway and despite bouts of Meles worship they never really believed that they were creating growth and change but rather just enough 'positive' stirrings to keep their own taxpayers silent.

People joke about how the Immigration bureaucracy in the US is the very worst one because citizens don't have to deal with it. The actual reality of that imagined efficiency and dedication is found in foreign aid bureaucracies which literally don't have to deliver results at all to stay in business.

Imagine the existence of such agencies for a moment! Aid bureaucracies are judged by how much money they spend and plan to spend - not by how many people they lift out of poverty. For example, Ethiopia's government, tens of billions in aid in hand after 1991 has yet to allow its people to develop by any measure.

Now, we are sure that all those aid bureaucrats are indeed 'good' people. However, they only need to look across the table at their government, party and govt/party cronies during the next negotiation or dinner party to know the faces of those who are their real development partners and also the authors of ongoing, accelerating Ethiopian misery.

That vanishingly small elite that you hang out with and pay off for minimal access to Ethiopians controls the inseperable party and government as well as their attendant business empires and monopolies that account for the great majority of allowed economic activity.

After all you know who gets most of your aid contracts and all of the budget support and loans don't you? The same folks own all the land, control all the credit, pretend to have courts, laws and parliaments, routinely kill people and no longer even pretend to have free press or politics. But, you already know that don't you?

Everything that made donor countries rich or former poor countries develop is not being done in Ethiopia where the government's greatest pride is the amounts of aid it has managed to beg from societies where Ethiopians are acutally allowed to create wealth.

Neither lowly ethiopundit, nor Easterly on high nor any other of the myriad bearers of common sense everywhere are any sorts of prophets here. Everyone knows what works and what doesn't and what the human costs are in that choice for a long time already.

Note, no one is speaking of not providing food to the starving here - making that the issue along with crocodile tears are the usual tactic used to avoid discussing the benefits and harm that aid causes. Essentially, aid should be about more than subsistence welfare to last just from season to season and year to year.

The point should be to help the supposed recipients in the long and short run by allowing actual growth to take place and avoiding what has failed already. The old saying that 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' is particularly apt here.

Some brutal regimes have oil or inherited a relatively developed economy that will take years to destroy while they strip it bare at leisure - Ethiopia has instead the endlessly renewable blood, sweat and tears of 70 million human beings - the evils of harvest time are horrible to behold.


There are ways to deliver aid responsibly - read No More Appeasement for background and examples of what can be done to actually help - responsibly.

Friday, June 23

Catch Up

We have gotten a number of emails by those very much amused by our statement about Dagmawi in the post Reality Check that "the world of Ethiopian commentary and opinion is still playing catchup" to him.

We now realize that catchup is the same as ketchup which is a popular condiment. We meant to say 'catch up' as in 'pull even with' or 'approach'.


However, in response to some other emails, our opinion of ethnic, religious, tribal politics remains the same. It is a dead end. Tribal politics of the type practiced by ANYONE in Ethiopia is meant to be divisive and to exacerbate and create resentment and indeed rewrite history to serve the will to power of a few.

Those few in turn expect to trade in the power thus gained into a political system of their own personal liking or to go home with all their marbles in a fit of anger, creating their own country. However unpleasant it may all be at times, Ethiopians are stuck with each other by history, geography and circumstance ... and more of that story is cooperative than any contemporary tribal politics and histories would have us believe.

Without cooperation as well as competition by the Oromo or Tigray or Amhara et al, Ethiopia would not exist today and of course would simply cease to exist in the future. Without them and others it will all fall apart into so many unviable mini-states whose destiny would be failure and suffering for tens of millions.

To imagine that further bantustanization would benefit anyone or that any tribal liberation front actually speaks for the people that it is named after is simply absurd. Seriously, who says that the TPLF represents the interests of Tigrayans or that the OLF represents the interests of Oromos anyway? Because the self chosen leaders say so?

Ethiopian history gives no evidence at all that such conclusions are in any way valid. Ethiopians have lived too long with the Mengistu, Meles variety of politics where the very existence of the country was constantly in danger if only just a few men did not get their own way.

Atavistic (actually purposefully magnified) ties to ethnicity are really born of the ideology that mentally dissected Ethiopia in search of weakness and realized that every challenger to the power of any given Liberation Front or Scientific Socialist or Revolutionary Democrat could be greatly weakened by tribalism. That is if such tribalism was made the norm.

ethiopundit is not denying the importance of ethnicity. It is a profound and necessarily respected aspect of every person. However, that aspect of identity is more often than not manipulated with the classic aim of divide and rule. By falsely wrapping themselves in an ethnic mantle tribal politicians seek to protect themselves from legitimate opposition from every source - especially from within.

One of the greatest dangers of 'tribal liberation' is that normal disagreement becomes a visceral matter of punishable disloyalty and dissenters at every level within the group needing 'liberation' become official traitors. What kind of democracy can find a home in a liberation front to begin with? History provides almost no such examples.

The notion that ONE voice speaks for an entire people / tribe / religion /region is deeply offensive and must be utterly rejected for any Ethiopians to have a future not defined by privation and conflict that take on the permanence of tradition.

By the logic of secession embraced by TPLF and OLF alike, not only can every 'nation, nationality and people' leave and form their own country at will but so does every neighborhood soccer club having a winning season or a bad season for that matter.

Where will 'self determination' end? Will the Oromo of Gondar or a self appointed group that says it speaks for them have the right to drop out of Oromia at will or the right not to join Oromia to begin with?

Or (using old provincial names) how about the Oromo of Wallega and Tigray and Harar and Gojjam and Arussi and Kaffa and Wollo and Shoa and Bale and Western Europe and North America? Do they all think alike? Are they all alike beyond the justified pride they have in their heritage? How about folks with an Amhara, Tigrayan, Gurage or Somali parent?

The TPLF is of course insincere on the secession issue. It presents national disintegration as a threat by having the legal system of a nation on the edge of chaos. However, the all powerful extra-legal party, security and armed forces allegedly prevent that - only as long as the Gibee wants it that way.

Beyond being anti-TPLF what does the OLF have to say to Ethiopians (yes, such a category of humans does legitimately exist) that proves that they are different than every other liberation front that has ever been out there promising the moon but bringing horror in its wake?

The organization's mission statement speaks of the group embodying efforts since 1973 by "Oromo nationalists to lead the national liberation struggle of the Oromo people against the Abyssinian colonial rule".

Oromo themselves were as much authors of Abyssinian or Ethiopian history as Amhara or Tigray were. Modern Ethiopia is absolutely defined by Oromo involvement in the political and cultural scene of the old Empire that created a wholly new reality for all.

Nor was all of history experienced the same way by all or even most Oromo, Amhara or Tigray. Oromo are in every corner of the country in great numbers while there have been Oromo Emperors, rebels, generals, aristocrats, villians, colonialists, heroes, saints, sinners and patriots, just as there have been Amhara, Tigrayan and Agew ones - to mention just a few groups.

No people on earth are as simply defined as the OLF would have the Oromo be. Defining Ethiopia's most naturally democratic culture made of fierce warriors and peaceful neighbors alike in terms of 'black colonialism' takes a fraction of the Oromo experience after the latter 19th century and makes it a universal one for the convenience of familiar dead end liberation revisionism.

The OLF statement on the AFD is far more hopeful and mentions Ethiopia as a somewhat possibly legitimate entity. Is this a tactical or strategic or even a simple propaganda decision? While the OLF is certainly a more legitimate group than the TPLF Oromo front group, one must wonder if the AFD has made the OLF a far bigger deal than it ever was?

Does the AFD imply that other opposition groups recognize the OLF as the sole or pre-eminent representative of Oromos when that is obviously not the case? Has anyone consulted the Oromo / Ethiopian people about this? Will every political disagreement within AFD be subject to threats of national disintegration as a routine tactic of negotiation?

Having said all of the above we must add that we most desperately wish to be wrong in our judgement of the OLF. Sorry, but decades of tribal / revolutionary theories and policies from every direction have filled us with an absolute dread of self styled 'liberation fronts'.

Such organizations have done great harm to the 'people' themselves because they can never seem to drop the motivations and policies that were more popular but never appropriate during a different era of the all too recent past.

It is far past time to leave behind such dated ideas such as tribally based politics and to never again allow them to influence and govern the lives of men.

It seems that the OLF has skipped the worthy challenge of further redefining Ethiopia, in even its own interest, in favor of the familiar dead end rhetoric of liberation.

The litany of questions thrown about above need answering and debate in the open. Not because they were written here but because they are already being asked and new ones formulated in the minds of anyone who has even heard of the AFD.

Like we said, we very much hope that we are wrong about the OLF... and either way the AFD may not make much of a difference one way or another. We believe that the spirit and unity of the opposition across all of society goes far beyond such matters.


Here is the OLF statement by Olaana Abboma titled THE ESSENCE OF AFD

Here is a Kinijit statement about AFD: A PERFECTIBLE, PROGRESSIVE MISSION

Also from Kinijit The May 15, 2005 verdict on the viability of ethnic-centered politics in Ethiopia.

In the Ethiopian Review Messay Kebede's article The win-win nature of the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy clearly disagrees with us.

Seminawork / 'Ethiopian life, politics, culture and arts' sees a glass very much half full in In Defense Of The Alliance: Perspective From Home and in In Defense Of The Alliance(Part two)

Enset in the post Article 39, AFD and the Oromo Liberation Front takes another reasonable look at this subject.

in Chimpanzee Politics and the Alliance for Dismemberment is rightfully worried and usually right.

image source.

Monday, June 12


Friday, June 9

Reality Check

In 1998 when Eritrea invaded Ethiopia (as the Meles-Issias alliance in their war against both Ethiopians and Eritreans collapsed) the ensuing information war gave us an interesting lesson. Certainly, neither government was capable of coherently presenting its case, but Ethiopia's interests were pursued with a criminal ineptitude until Dagmawi took on that task from that familiar URL at geocities.

Suddenly, sober logic & fact became a possibility amidst the shrill din of cadres, spokesmen and information ministers. The world of Ethiopian commentary and opinion is still playing catchup. In Chimpanzee Politics and the Alliance for Dismemberment we are reminded why this is so.

The opposition alliance is a bad idea. In the end, Ethiopians are the ultimate losers and Meles Inc. the winners in every form of ethnic / regional / religious politics. The concept of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" has been stretched a bit too far in this case.

While supporters of the government speak with one voice always (unless they are infiltrating the opposition and afterwards undergo ritual cadre re-programming) - it is healthy and hopeful that supporters of the opposition and all opponents of the government have normal political disagreements - even over the most serious issues.

Unlike the bloodshed & chains that define the classically bolshevik tribal permanent revolutionary front at the core of the government - peaceful and reasoned but principled and stubborn opposition is more of a nightmare for the regime than a massive guerrilla uprising would be.

The maturity displayed by the opposition at every stage while regularly disagreeing with each other without purges and murders and life long enemies being made is what we most admire about the opposition. The way they react to disagreement today is the way they will treat their own opposition once they are in power and it is reassuring.

Monday, June 5

"It's Not a Magic Solution"

It's not a magic solution. It's just a completely different way of doing business

Ishac Diwan, the World Bank's country director for Ethiopia.
Nothing new in this post that we haven't said before. Some things just bear repeating - or rather the tragi-comic absurdity of the Great Game must occasionally be re-heard to be believed. From the Washington Post:

World Bank Resumes Ethiopian Assistance - Aid Package Will Bypass National Government, Multilateral Institution Says:
Late last year, the World Bank, together with other major donors such as Britain's Department for International Development, decided to withhold about $375 million in direct support for the central government's budget. (The U.S. Agency for International Development does not provide such assistance to Ethiopia.)

Now the bank and the donors are re-engaging with Ethiopia but providing a much different form of assistance than before, on the theory that they can continue to aid the country's poor while refraining from bolstering the Meles regime. Instead of lending to the national government as it usually does, the bank will provide $215 million of its new aid to hundreds of local governments, mainly for basic services such as water, health and education.

"It's not a magic solution. It's just a completely different way of doing business," Ishac Diwan, the World Bank's country director for Ethiopia, said in an interview.
The organizational chart on the left is for one of the more famous fictional family businesses. The Don or Boss is at the top and appropriately slightly out of focus behind him is his consigliere (counsellor).

Below is the Underboss (sort of a senior capo) and below him the Capos. Each Capo commands a crew of many 'soldiers' (made men i.e. full 'family' members with permission to steal and kill at will) and 'button men' (assassins).

Along with less privileged criminal associates at the bottom of the pile, the lower ranks do most of the actual dirty work of organized crime. Basically, they make people offers that they can't refuse - certain violence and death are substitutes for more conventional sales techniques and along with greed and fear serve as the glue of the organization.

The purpose of the organization is to make money and keep power so that more money can be made ... and vice versa. There is vanishingly little than won't be done to achieve those objectives and a whole internal mythology and symbology of supposed honor, purpose and history has evolved to justify and attempt to sanctify heirarchies like the one above.

The organization chart on the right is that of the Ethiopian government. Every particular above applies here as well except the Corleones did not get a seat at the U.N. and the Corleone protection rackets did not involve the suffering and lives of millions of Ethiopians nor bringing down the whole Horn of Africa like a demented Samson.

There are options which we discuss in No More Appeasement. This post is put together from a piece of the post The World Is Yours IV - "An Offer They Can't Refuse" when 'bypassing' the regime was first considered by the British.

And no, Mr. Washington Post Staff Writer, the economy HAS NOT "grown at a healthy clip in the past two years, offering some hope for lifting Ethiopians from the ranks of the continent's poorest people" - but the economy is stagnant beyond Western aid and foreign remittances from societies where people are actually allowed to create wealth.

As always one must wonder if a story on Iraq or Egypt or Zimbabwe or any other place would be so value neutral (you know, values like human rights and corruption being bad and all) and without any measure of moral judgement made despite an effort to get in some of the facts.

At least Almaz Zewde, a professor of African Studies at Howard University is quoted in the article stating the simple truth.
The fact that they won't channel the money through the central government doesn't change anything ...

The central government is everywhere; the local officials are their appointees. ...

In terms of the World Bank's objectives of creating good government, and trying to assist the struggle for human rights and democracy, they are working against that."
No Mr. Country Director, it certainly is not a magic solution and again no, it's the same old way of doing business.

The World Bank and the governments that it represents know that the reason they can finance the Bank is that their countries did everything in the development and governance game exactly the opposite of the Ethiopian government's policies.

They also know that the only reason that Ethiopians aren't being offered as slaves on the international market for cash or intentionally starved to death for their general opposition is because the regime depends on donors who might frown on such open bad behavior.

But ... in the future who knows what the donors won't tolerate as 'the best those Africans can do for themselves anyway, and not the worst they can do to eachother, at least.' Ethiopians have already seen some seriously low standards here for their own government's and the world's behavior.

There is nothing anyone can add about the brutality or corruption of the regime that the financiers of despots at the World Bank don't already know.

Their handouts are just designed to pass a problem onto the next Western President or Prime Minister instead of the current ones. Well, it is a big problem for Ethiopians right now.

It is not like Ethiopians don't want to take care of themselves or their own problems by why does the world have to PAY to keep their problems in place?