The problem with this, aside from not trusting the UN with more than a 5 spot, is that the poverty in the third world isn't so much due to lack of money as it is to mismanagement. I really want to dig deep to give the United Nations money to pass on, minus fees, to someone crazier than an outhouse rat like Bobby Mugabe so that he can "fight poverty" in his thugocracy. Zimbabwe used to be prosperous and well fed until he got his meat hooks on it. In Zimbabwe's "War on Poverty" Bobby should be the prime target. Is the UN planning to remove him? I didn't think so. From the Times article:
The report says there are anywhere from a dozen to three dozen nations in Africa and Asia that could be put on a fast track for aid immediately.From their Toyota Land Cruisers, no doubt. Yeah, that'll sure help. And that's just the "widely criticized" thugocracies.
But for nations like Belarus, Myanmar, North Korea and Zimbabwe, whose political leaders are widely criticized, ``there is little case of large scale aid,'' the report said.
Aid should be channeled through humanitarian groups, who can monitor progress on the ground.
Of course when they aren't goggle-eyed at the the thought of all that cash, even the UN weenies notice that folks are a tad skeptical of how effective a huge cash injection would be. Here's moon-calf Columbia professor Jeffrey Sachs, the lead author of the report:
Mosquito bed nets, for example, are cheap and could be distributed easily to save children from dying of malaria. ``There is no black market for mosquito nets,'' Sachs said, acknowledging that many nations feared corruption.Sigh. I hate to tell ya, Jeff, but there is a black market for every good or service. In Zimbabwe you don't get any of the relief aid if you aren't in Bobby's political party. In the Congo, UN peacekeepers buy sex with candy bars. And in Burma, the military tries to bribe NGO's to get mosquito nets from relief supplies. What Jeff means is that the UN sanctioned mosquito nets, which have to be periodically retreated with a "safe" insecticide, aren't worth very much on the black market since they are a pain to use. There is a black market for DDT which is much preferred for malaria control but anathema to the UN ecoweenies. "There's no black market for horseshoes" either, Jeff.
Update: If you want something more than my Cliff's Notes version of the UN report, there's always the ScrappleFace version - Report: U.N. Could End Global Poverty with Cash:
"This research shows that the root cause of poverty is the absence of money," said Mr. Annan. "Our experts tell us that if we give enough cash to poor people, then they become middle-income people. Naturally, the cash we give them should come from countries that now have too much cash."
Mr. Annan immediately proposed a plan to distribute cash to poor people, with the United Nations serving as middleman and retaining "only the usual processing fee of no more than 65 percent."