Wednesday, 27 January 2010

It's a concern!

Commentators are today suggesting that the world needs to commit to Haiti for at least 10 years. Having had 65% of whatever small economy generating package it has destroyed, this would seem inevitable.
What exactly such a world commitment might mean is unclear. Usually it means that the recipient will have to tow the line if they are to share in the largesse. We are not free from the practice of fettering our aid to our particular requirements (money directed to roads in PNG for example which will facilitate Australia's trading interests...coincidentally improving infrastructure, but what is the driving interest). The US has habitually used its economic might to ensure it has strategic military bases. Russia does the same.
China is following suit. Though it is interesting to note that some analysis of their present frenzy in Africa is much more directly promoting their commercial interests than former colonial powers used to like to attest to.
The attraction of Africa for many Europeans was cheap labour, China has steady supply of such and so often sends its own "guest workers" to staff factories,build roads and so on.
It's all complex stuff.
There is little or no doubt that Haiti will not make it on its own. There is also plenty of evidence that nations are by and large self-serving. It is not ideal, but maybe the most that can be offered.
God help Haiti which has little to bargain with.

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