Friday, 24 March 2006

Foreign aid and wildlife

In my post-goat research, I began to realise that foreign aid, particularly that driven by religious zeal, was often misguided at best, and environmentally disastrous at worst. I came across a very interesting example, which I think encapsulates some of my concerns:
"...the World Health Organization Project, designed to eradicate malaria from Sri Lanka in the postwar years, achieved its purpose. But the problem today is that Sri Lanka must feed three times as many mouths, find three times as many jobs, provide three times the housing, energy, schools, hospitals and land for settlement in order to maintain the same standards. Little wonder the natural environment and wildlife in Sri Lanka has suffered. The fact [is] ... that the best-intentioned aid programs are at least partially responsible for the problems."
Interestingly this was a quote from an address on receiving an Honorary Degree from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, July 1, 1983, given by HRH Prince Philip.

I certainly would not suggest that malaria erradiction is not important, but all these programmes need to be thought through....thoroughly.

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