Tagged ‘White Savior Complex‘

The Market of Pain: Corruption & Fetishized Altruism in International Aid

Critical investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa

December 4, 2017

By: Emeizmi Mandagi, University of California – Irvine


United Nations website: “In Malawi, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson spotlights efforts to end child marriage.” [Source]

The University of California’s Global Peace and Conflict Studies Colloquium Series recently hosted UC Irvine’s Visiting Researcher Dr. Maria D. Bermudez on November 9, 2017 for a lunch colloquium. Drawing on over 16 years of experience working with international organizations including the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), and Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Dr. Bermudez  argued that within international and non-governmental aid organization, there is a fundamental form of corruption due to the culture of impunity in these organizations and in the market of “fetishized altruism.” While corruption in international aid is classically focused on corrupt acts by international workers for private or personal gain, Dr. Bermudez asserted that in fact there is a more fundamental form of corruption in international aid that involves inaccurate descriptions of realities and results for the purpose of demonstrating efficiency, effectiveness, and ultimately gaining leverage in the competitive market of donors and funds.

“The White Man’s Burden (Apologies to Rudyard Kipling)” Judge, 1 Nisan 1899, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Dr. Bermudez opened her talk stating that the United Nation’s budget for international aid in conflict areas is 40 times higher today than it was in 1950. However, the issue is not necessarily the quantity of money but rather the type of money that is coming in today. Dr. Bermudez emphasized that there is a stark difference between approved core funding, and the real expenditure provided by voluntary contributions from private and corporate donors, foundations, and member states. The allocation of this budget is therefore based on what the members of the donor organization desires. This is in line with a critique covered earlier this year by the CIHA blog on “Culture in Aidland,” a talk by Mark Schuller who highlighted that the current reward system is not designed to hold agencies accountable to the recipients of aid, but rather to the donors. Similarly, Dr. Bermudez mentioned that in 2014 alone, 151 countries received more than $127 billion USD of Official Development Assistance (ODA), but such exorbitant amounts of money are difficult to track and understand how the money is achieving desired results (and who is deciding what are the desired results!).

Dr. Bermudez offered the UN as a case study, which she argued is an organization that supports a culture of impunity. As a committee that reports to itself, the structure of the UN is problematic because, despite its best intentions, the organization and its members can easily engage in abuse, corruption, and secrecy as they are usually shielded by diplomatic immunity. There is little to no accountability of members, nor is there proper follow-up on investigations despite the implementation of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) Reports. Instead, the status quo established at inception in 1946 continues to be upheld.

Dr. Bermudez further explained that in the field of international aid, there is a market of “fetishized altruism.” She explained that individuals are drawn to the altruistic and heavily idealized concept of “helping” – for example, helping Africans to get access to clean water by building wells, or advocating for the end of female genital mutilation. International aid agencies adopt particular programmatic goals and approaches informed by such moral justification to “help”. However, this results in an unlimited proliferation of international aid actors. This raises the question of who provides oversight on these aid actors and ensures they do not cause more damage than good. Additionally, who ensures that these aid actors are properly trained and prepared? With such a high number of available aid actors, there is an increasing need for training that informs aid actors of the local cultural customs, social norms, current political environment, and the necessary historical context and background. Such training usually requires a deep commitment to a particular location which is often not the scope and structure of international humanitarian work where scale and global reach are valued. At CIHA Blog, we seek to provide humanitarian actors, scholars and students who work on the African continent with a source of information and resources that can help ground their work and efforts in local contexts and histories.

Dr. Bermudez argued that the inherent structure of international aid organizations itself creates a “market of pain” in its attempts to aid communities. For instance, organizations face the double client dilemma when they compete for aid, because organizations have to meet the demands and expectations of donors rather than the needs of those they supposedly serve. Dr. Bermudez concluded by stating that there is a strong need for monitoring the results of international aid projects rather than focusing on manufacturing data and reports to stay relevant in the international aid sector. She held that there needs to be a shift in what is expected of international aid organizations regarding accountability for corruption, adequate training of international aid actors, a focus on the respective communities receiving aid as opposed to a focus on donors, and the types of solutions and projects implemented.


[Maria D. Bermudez is a visiting researcher at UCI. She holds a PhD in International Relations by SciencesPo, Paris, France and brings 16 years of experience working with international cooperation in the field of Human Movements, Forced Migration and Refugees, Human Rights, Post-conflict Institution Building and Rule of Law, in more than 20 conflict or post-conflict countries, for different organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), or the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).]

[Emeizmi Mandagi is an Irvine Intern at the University of California.]


The NGO-ization of Resistance


September 4, 2014

By Arundhati Roy




A hazard facing mass movements is the NGO-ization of resistance. It will be easy to twist what I’m about to say into an indictment of all NGOs. That would be a falsehood. In the murky waters of fake NGOs set up or to siphon off grant money or as tax dodges (in states like Bihar, they are given as dowry), of course, there are NGOs doing valuable work. But it’s important to consider the NGO phenomenon in a broader political context.

In India, for instance, the funded NGO boom began in the late 1980s and 1990s. It coincided with the opening of India’s markets to neoliberalism. At the time, the Indian state, in keeping with the requirements of structural adjustment, was withdrawing funding from rural development, agriculture, energy, transport and public health. As the state abdicated its traditional role, NGOs moved in to work in these very areas. The difference, of course, is that the funds available to them are a minuscule fraction of the actual cut in public spending.

Most large-funded NGOs are financed and patronized by aid and development agencies, which are, in turn, funded by Western governments, the World Bank, the UN and some multinational corporations. Though they may not be the very same agencies, they are certainly part of the same loose, political formation that oversees the neoliberal project and demands the slash in government spending in the first place.

Why should these agencies fund NGOs? Could it be just old-fashioned missionary zeal? Guilt? It’s a little more than that. NGOs give the impression that they are filling the vacuum created by a retreating state. And they are, but in a materially inconsequential way. Their real contribution is that they defuse political anger and dole out as aid or benevolence what people ought to have by right. They alter the public psyche. They turn people into dependent victims and blunt the edges of political resistance. NGOs form a sort of buffer between the sarkar and public. Between Empire and its subjects. They have become the arbitrators, the interpreters, the facilitators.

In the long run, NGOs are accountable to their funders, not to the people they work among. They’re what botanists would call an indicator species. It’s almost as though the greater the devastation caused by neoliberalism, the greater the outbreak of NGOs. Nothing illustrates this more poignantly than the phenomenon of the U.S. preparing to invade a country and simultaneously readying NGOs to go in and clean up the devastation. In order make sure their funding is not jeopardized and that the governments of the countries they work in will allow them to function, NGOs have to present their work in a shallow framework, more or less shorn of a political or historical context. At any rate, an inconvenient historical or political context.

Apolitical (and therefore, actually, extremely political) distress reports from poor countries and war zones eventually make the (dark) people of those (dark) countries seem like pathological victims. Another malnourished Indian, another starving Ethiopian, another Afghan refugee camp, another maimed Sudanese…in need of the white man’s help. They unwittingly reinforce racist stereotypes and reaffirm the achievements, the comforts and the compassion (the tough love) of Western civilization. They’re the secular missionaries of the modern world.

Eventually–on a smaller scale, but more insidiously–the capital available to NGOs plays the same role in alternative politics as the speculative capital that flows in and out of the economies of poor countries. It begins to dictate the agenda. It turns confrontation into negotiation. It depoliticizes resistance. It interferes with local peoples’ movements that have traditionally been self-reliant. NGOs have funds that can employ local people who might otherwise be activists in resistance movements, but now can feel they are doing some immediate, creative good (and earning a living while they’re at it).

Real political resistance offers no such short cuts. The NGO-ization of politics threatens to turn resistance into a well-mannered, reasonable, salaried, 9-to-5 job. With a few perks thrown in. Real resistance has real consequences. And no salary.

Reaction to the World Social Forum in Tunis

Reaction to the World Social Forum in Tunis

Above photo: Indians at the World Social Forum in Belem Brazil, January 28, 2009, discus the rights of indigenous peoples. Photo by Andre Penner / AP.


April 5, 2013

By Tomaso Ferando

“Like a post-modern Tro­jan horse, cor­por­ate power has entered the core of the anti-globalization fort­ress and has placed its sol­diers, includ­ing a couple of mem­bers of indi­gen­ous com­munit­ies of the Amazon, to dis­sem­in­ate its word and sup­port its com­mit­ment toward a respons­ible exploit­a­tion of nature and the people. How­ever, and more dra­mat­ic­ally than in the story coun­ted by Homer, it all happened with the full aware­ness of the organ­iz­a­tion, and, even more sadly, with the silent acquit­tance of the rest of the anti-global col­lectiv­ity, which has not raised a fin­ger against the cor­por­at­iz­a­tion of the WSF and refused to organ­ize sym­bolic actions of protest.”

Interactive | NGOs: Global Change Agents or Trojan Horses for Western Hegemony?

 by Glen Wright

First published Dec 8, 2012

[prezi id=’opoqxdo1ra6y’]

Native Activists Withdraw Support from KXL Truthforce Concert Oklahoma


Casey Camp, Ponca

“Before long, we began to see a pattern that has played out repeatedly: Non-Indians armed with a savior complex, condescending tones and a penchant to show us a better way to do things, begin to plan strategy and events for us.”

A Tear for Africa: Humanitarian Abduction and Reduction

“Inciting hatred and racial fear by spreading false rumours, which then resulted in violence with a genocidal aim? Is that not a crime under international law any longer? Or does the law by implication never apply to the white people who called for it? This is interesting, to see how Amnesty International makes business for itself at both ends of genocide, and never, of course, never, offering as much as an apology or a simple admission to being wrong.

Instead, what accomplished humanitarian elites, whether in the media, NGOs, think tanks…or the Swedish government, like to do when speaking of their favourite topics (such as female genital mutilation…in Africa, not their own kind), is to celebrate themselves. And they celebrate themselves with a nice big slice of n*gger cake:”


August 1, 2012




Helpless, pleading, wanting, needing, small, weak, staring at you, black–this is the anti-bogeyman invented by Western humanitarianism, what passes as morality in the ideology of empire (yet again). Past the time of a London Missionary Society, we now have the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the moral dogma of a white, western elite that projects its abusive notion of “protection” everywhere it is not wanted. Hence we have the “smug self-congratulation” marking Obama’s “Atrocity Prevention Board” and empowering the U.S. to undertake global police work. Part of a long history of casting wars as “humanitarian,” the “moral compass” of Western imperialism has an appropriately nautical sound in this commercial that declares the U.S. Navy to be “a force for global good” (nautical or extraterrestrial perhaps: the images are inspired by the opening of Star Wars, and the narration echoes Darth Vader). Well past the time of “emancipation,” we can now help Africans by owning them yet again–as children, in that state of infancy that we have long associated with primitiveness itself. We thus have the perfect therapy for the racial fear of blackness: shopping, that is, shopping for humans. Whole peoples in need of our “protection” (and the military-industrial racket of defense contractors and mercenaries that makes “protection” possible)–finally, our guilt washed away in their gratitude. For just the price of a cup of coffee–and the occasional high-altitude bombing by faceless “heroes” who never confront their victims–you too can buy yourself a piece of Africa, “the new frontier”. Then you can monitor and police its subordination, with AFRICOM.

Owning Africa: These kinds of images are so widespread that few even stop to pass comment or even take notice. Here, a page from an IKEA catalogue shows a white woman lounging in bed, with a faceless black child by her, surrounded by a cloud of prices. Such choices are always deliberate, and IKEA chose to place these human props as much as it chose the layout of the furniture.

Adoption: Abduction

Spectacle or training the audience in new consumption trends? Madonna acquires an African baby, proudly put on display.

A massive earthquake just happened. Hundreds of thousands dead and homeless. A nation destroyed. Moments later, disembarking from a night flight, returning from Haiti where few other planes could land, a group of very large white Americans, waddling and smiling through the airport, pushing double strollers displaying their newly harvested tropical produce: Haitian babies, spirited away from home. In many cases, they were simply stolen. In other cases, stolen for the sake of some very “Christian” people.

There is a lot more behind the African adoption craze than the simple desire of the large infertile ones to claim the fruit of others’ loins. Many already know that an industry has sprouted that serves as a conveyor belt for babies from Africa, passed straight into the hands of the “gimme” crowd in Europe and North America. A Web search for “Africa Adoption” returns a river of links to agencies such as: Sunrise Adoption/Africa, Americans for African Adoptions Inc. (from the managing director: “When you look into the eyes of a hungry African child, if you have any heart, you will not walk away and forget”–no, instead you will snatch the child apparently), and a few more. Each of these are part of a complex that serves up images of staring African children, lost, needing you (even when they have parents). Not usually listed as such in any international trade statistics compiled by the enemy, children are another of Africa’s exported commodities, forming part of a growing commercial industry. “The number of children from Africa being adopted by foreign nationals from other continents has risen dramatically,” the BBC said very recently, quoting this 2012 report from the African Child Policy Forum:

In the past eight years, international adoptions increased by almost 400%, the African Child Policy Forum has found. “Africa is becoming the new frontier for inter-country adoption,” the Addis Ababa-based group said. But many African countries do not have adequate safeguards in place to protect the children being adopted, it warns. The majority of so-called orphans adopted from Africa have at least one living parent and many children are trafficked or sold by their parents, the child expert group says. More than 41,000 African children have been adopted and taken out of home countries since 2004, the ACPF report says.

The adoption scandals have been plenty in number of the years, but there is nothing like imposed protection and enforced gratitude to keep the gates open to an abducted continent.

There is, I think, an important conceptualization of “abduction” that needs to be developed (different from the sense found in Alfred Gell’s Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory, also see here). Specifically, what I mean is that in order for one to presume to “care” for another, that other must be seen as living in a state of some sort of neglect and unfulfilled need. That other thus becomes like an object, that is first seized so that it can be set free. It is an object set low within a hierarchy, one that resembles old cultural evolutionist schemes where Europeans were always on top, and Africans locked far down below, in a Permanent Paleolithic time zone. Western “humanitarianism” thus works as an imperialist ideological framework: that object, “Africa,” needs our “protection” (we are the prime actors, they the recipients). This requires that we do at least two things that one would expect of imperialists. First, we need to construct images of “Africa” as a dark place of gaunt, hungry, pleading quasi-humans, where we effectively open the door to ourselves, and usher ourselves in as their self-appointed saviours. This is not the same thing as abduction in the form of kidnapping (not yet anyway): it is more of a virtual abduction, an imaginary capture that places “Africa” on a lower scale of welfare and self-fulfillment, and implies our “duty” to rescue them by “raising” them “up” to where we are. Second, we can work to ensure that the material conditions of need are effectively reproduced: we can do that with “aid” (see below), with “investment” (an odd word, because in practice it means taking away), with “trade” (where the preconditions are that Africans privatize themselves), and with direct military intervention to bomb back down to size any upstart that threatens to repossess his dignity (Libya). This too then is a capture. And then there is actual capture: seizing children, indicting “war criminals,” or inviting students to come on over and “learn” like we do so that they can become “educated”–or stay there, and let our students examine you. Humanitarians just cannot get over themselves, in other words, and they never tire of telling stories of their own greatness.

Examples abound, and they will keep on abounding as time passes, as they have in the past with an endless slew of stereotypes of “broken, helpless Africans”. We thus have the Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), producers of awful Christmas-time videos that surely warrant a boycott, whose website produces a majority of pictures of desperate African children, or smiling African children (because they received our aid).

Blood Is Thicker Than Coffee (But Propaganda Is a Lot Like Cake)

The websites of Save the Children and Act for Peace similarly offer the same amount of African poverty pornography that remind you that you are the giver and that the power to breathe dignity into these dark objects is all yours. That also helps to numb and distract you from your own powerlessness in your own society, unless of course you happen to be one of the “one percent”. “For just the price of a cup of coffee”…the everyday humanitarian has such lofty sentiments, but they rarely include direct political action to get their own society from intervening in and harming African nations to begin with. If you care that much, cancel the debt, stop the bombing, and you can keep your coffee.

“Poor starving African children” is not just virtually a category of its own on YouTube, it is the actual title of some videos, like this one:

Very similar to the video above, there is this one from some R2P missionaries, the International aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia which is responsible for this R2P video–note which group of people predominates in the images shown:

One could also mention the infamously exploitative and lying “Stop Kony” campaign of conveniently pious imperialists, led by a mentally discordant junior celebrity, not heard from since his naked public rampage against Satan (see more Kony references below). That makes him guilty of “masturbating in public”…twice. Do we sometimes steal other people’s dignity because we lack any ourselves? It’s easy to take apart the motives of someone like Jason Russell, who at another time declared his campaign to be an “adventure” and that “we can have fun while we end genocide….We’re gonna have a blast”:

The more relevant point however is that Russell is showing himself to be an excellent entrepreneur in the field of abduction: seizing African children, as the victims of a Lord’s Resistance Army that is a mere shadow of its former self, in order to back further U.S. military intervention in Uganda, where the LRA is not present but where U.S. special forces are. Neither AFRICOM nor the International Criminal Court could be more thankful for this viral imperial moralism, and the mindless crowd hype that propelled it. Of course, it’s not just Uganda that “benefits” from #Kony2012, but other nations of central Africa as well that are part of AFRICOM’s hunt for the “big game” that Joseph Kony has become, as official U.S. moralism easily blends with militarism. This has become everything that “Save Darfur” dreamt it could be. A clearer case than “my humanitarianism requires your abduction” could not be made better than the Stop Kony campaign. Or, maybe I speak too soon: “Stuff White People Link n. 135: Humanitarian Intervention”.

Amnesty International has been excellent at cashing in on atrocities, reporting rumours of “African mercenaries” in Libya, only to backtrack (after many of us popularized #RacistRebels incessantly in the Twitter news stream): now AI is finding black Libyans and Sub-Saharan Africans targeted for ethnic cleansing, mass displacement, torture, rape and murder–and AI can now announce that there never were any such mercenaries. Either way, Amnesty wins, its budget is ensured as it ensures its relevance to any profitable crisis, not to mention its recent public support for the U.S./NATO war in Afghanistan to “save its women” (an angle ZA covered here, here, here, and here). AI’s double-stand on Libya has been well documented and exposed in the video documentary, “The Humanitarian War,” by Julien Teil:

Inciting hatred and racial fear by spreading false rumours, which then resulted in violence with a genocidal aim? Is that not a crime under international law any longer? Or does the law by implication never apply to the white people who called for it? This is interesting, to see how Amnesty International makes business for itself at both ends of genocide, and never, of course, never, offering as much as an apology or a simple admission to being wrong.

Instead, what accomplished humanitarian elites, whether in the media, NGOs, think tanks…or the Swedish government, like to do when speaking of their favourite topics (such as female genital mutilation…in Africa, not their own kind), is to celebrate themselves. And they celebrate themselves with a nice big slice of n*gger cake:

Abduction yet again, this time with an assault on a human dessert cart. It’s an amazing picture of a European cannibalistic feeding frenzy of fantasy, a black cake saturated with neocolonial racism, and the promotion of very paternalistic attitudes towards African women, however much some of the Swedes above may fancy themselves “feminist”. It also seems that these characters took the bait of a clever artist, and ate it.

Sure, pick on Europeans. Say what you want, but at least “Spain is not Uganda”. Yet, by some measures that Europeans cherish, the argument turned against the Spanish Minister’s feeling of “natural” superiority over African primitives: Spain’s unemployment level is 24%, while Uganda’s is 4.2%; Spain’s GDP growth was 0.1% while Uganda’s was 5.2% in 2010; nor is Uganda currently the subject of emergency “bailout” plans. A good example of successful abduction, this is not, but it was nonetheless an attempt.

To Study, Study, Study You Is To Own, Own, Own You: And I Do, and I Do

Perhaps as many as 20% of the graduate students in the Department that year chose to do their “fieldwork” in Africa. In what kinds of locations? You should be able to guess by now: a garbage dump, a cemetery, and a hospital for AIDS victims. Then they shared stories of how being white women earned them endless drooling commentary from African men. They won three times: capturing Africans in their most miserable state, scoring themselves a high “hotness” rating, and getting an advanced degree.

African feminist Ifi Amadiume shared this story of a young, white, female anthropologist:

“I asked a young White woman why she was studying social anthropology. She replied that she was hoping to go to Zimbabwe, and felt that she could help women there by advising them how to organize. The Black women in the audience gasped in astonishment. Here was someone scarcely past girlhood, who had just started university and had never fought a war in her life. She was planning to go to Africa to teach female veterans of a liberation struggle how to organize! This is the kind of arrogant, if not absurd attitude we encounter repeatedly. It makes one think: Better the distant armchair anthropologists than these ‘sisters’.”

Surely we are not all so crass? “One of the intended outcomes of my research about this community is to share with them my analysis of their situation, so they can better organize their own praxis and self-representation; that by having an outsider hold a mirror up to them, they can benefit from further self-examination.” AnthroFail subtitles itself with “Anthropology: You’re doing it wrong”. Yes, but “fieldwork”–fieldwork makes everything so much better–we should be sending out more of ours to do fieldwork in their societies. At the very least, we can harvest more African data for the American or British journals. Then “open access” will make everything better again.

Aid: Degrade

“We give oh so much aid to Africa, that it just proves how great we are. Africans are not better off? Well, that may be, but then that shows how rotten they are. We win again!” I have heard similar assertions so often, that I now have a question: why don’t you all lobby the U.S. Congress or the Canadian House of Commons to officially rewrite your respective national anthems so you can include the words between the quotation marks? When you’re that great, you should at least sing about it, especially in your football stadiums and hockey arenas. I will not challenge the fact of their “giving,” but I will question the taking–better yet, Kenyan economist James Shikwati has already done so:

“Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa’s problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn’t even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

“When there’s a drought in a region of Kenya, our corrupt politicians reflexively cry out for more help. This call then reaches the United Nations World Food Program–which is a massive agency of apparatchiks who are in the absurd situation of, on the one hand, being dedicated to the fight against hunger while, on the other hand, being faced with unemployment were hunger actually eliminated. It’s only natural that they willingly accept the plea for more help. And it’s not uncommon that they demand a little more money than the respective African government originally requested. They then forward that request to their headquarters, and before long, several thousands tons of corn are shipped to Africa …

SPIEGEL: … corn that predominantly comes from highly-subsidized European and American farmers …

“Hunger should not be a problem in most of the countries south of the Sahara. In addition, there are vast natural resources: oil, gold, diamonds. Africa is always only portrayed as a continent of suffering, but most figures are vastly exaggerated. In the industrial nations, there’s a sense that Africa would go under without development aid. But believe me, Africa existed before you Europeans came along. And we didn’t do all that poorly either.

“AIDS is big business, maybe Africa’s biggest business. There’s nothing else that can generate as much aid money as shocking figures on AIDS. AIDS is a political disease here, and we should be very skeptical.

“If they really want to fight poverty, they should completely halt development aid and give Africa the opportunity to ensure its own survival. Currently, Africa is like a child that immediately cries for its babysitter when something goes wrong. Africa should stand on its own two feet.”

As Shikwati explains elsewhere in the interview, Africa’s “hunger problems” as we see them could easily be solved by greater intra-Africa trade, and by breaking down European-drawn borders–in other words, by letting the African Union work. But we don’t much like the real leaders who pushed hard to realize the full potential of the African Union–we instead prefer to see them like this.

Abduction always stands against dignity–and though done much better by many others, many times before, this essay was a necessary second installment in a series of six on Dignity.


ACPF. (2012). Africa: The New Frontier for Intercountry Adoption. Addis Ababa: The Africa Child Policy Forum.

AGOA: The U.S. Africa Growth and Opportunity Act.

Allimadi, Milton. (2012). “Invisible Children, Makers of KONY2012, Spied For Ugandan Regime–WikiLeaks”. Black Star News, April 8.

Amnesty International. (2011). “Libya: Organization Calls for Immediate Arms Embargo and Assets Freeze”. Amnesty International, February 23.

— . (2011). “Tawarghas must be protected from reprisals and arbitrary arrest in Libya”. Amnesty International, September 7.

— . (2011). “New Libya ’stained’ by detainee abuse”. Amnesty International, October 13.

— . (2012). “Libya: Deaths of detainees amid widespread torture”. Amnesty International, January 26.

AOPIG. (2001). African Oil: A Priority for U.S. National Security and African Development. Washington, DC: African Oil Policy Initiative Group.

Araia, Semhar. (2012). “Joseph Kony 2012: It’s fine to ‘Stop Kony’ and the LRA. But Learn to Respect Africans”. Christian Science Monitor, March 8.

BBC. (2012). “Adoption from Africa: Concern over ‘dramatic rise’.” BBC News, May 29.

— . (2012). “Spain is Not Uganda. Discuss”. BBC News, June 12.

Benesch, Susan. (2004). “Inciting Genocide, Pleading Free Speech (media in Rwanda)”. World Policy Journal, Volume XXI, No 2, Summer.

Black Acrylic. (2012). “The Anti #Kony2012”. Black Acrylic, March 8

BSN. (2012). “KONY 2012, Invisible Children’s Pro-AFRICOM and Museveni Propaganda”. [Editorial] Black Star News, March 8.

Chossudovsky, Michel. (2012). “JOSEPH KONY, AMERICA’S PRETEXT TO INVADE AFRICA: US Marines Dispatched to Five African Countries”. Global Research, March 16, 2012

Davis, Whitney. (n.d.). “Abducting the Agency of Art”.

Durden, Tyler. (2012). “Uganda is Not Spain”. Zero Hedge, June 12.

Fisher, Max. (2012). “The Soft Bigotry of Kony 2012”. The Atlantic, March 8.

Forte, Maximilian C. (2009). “In Afghanistan It’s Now All About the Little Girls”. Zero Anthropology, August 9.

FriaTider. (2012). “Shocking photos show Swedish Minister of Culture celebrating with ‘n*g*er cake’”. FriaTider, April 17.

Gell, Alfred. (1998). Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ghanea, Nazila. (2011). “Prohibition of Incitement to National, Racial or Religious Hatred in Accordance with International Human Rights Law.” United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Glazebrook, Dan. (2012). “The imperial agenda of the US’s ‘Africa Command’ marches on”. The Guardian, June 14.

Gosztola, Kevin. (2012). “Why Most Wars Are ‘Humanitarian Interventions’”. The Dissenter, April 15.

Guanaguanare. (2012). “Would You Have Eaten the Cake?Guanaguanare: The Laughing Gull, April 22.

Hanifi, M. Jamil. (2009). “Engineering Division, Instability, and Regime Change with Naheed, Neda, and Allah”. Zero Anthropology, July 31.

— . (2009). “Afghanistan’s Little Girls on the Front Line, Part 2”. Zero Anthropology, August 17.

— . (2010). “Is TIME’s Afghan ‘cover girl’ really a victim of mutilation by the Taleban?Zero Anthropology, August 5.

Harvard Law Review. “International Law. Genocide. U.N. Tribunal Finds That Mass Media Hate Speech Constitutes Genocide, Incitement to Genocide, and Crimes against Humanity. Prosecutor v. Nahimana, Barayagwiza, and Ngeze (Media Case), Case no. ICTR-99-52-T (Int’l Crim. Trib. for Rwanda Trial Chamber I Dec. 3, 2003)”. Harvard Law Review, Vol. 117, No. 8 (Jun.), pp. 2769-2776.

Haywood, Eddie, and Lantier, Alex. (2011). “US deploys Special Forces troops to central Africa”. World Socialist Web Site, October 17.

Holligan, Anna. (2012). “Invisible Children’s Kony campaign gets support of ICC prosecutor”. BBC News, March 8.

International Stability Operations Association formerly known as the International Peace Operations Association

Mason, John Edwin. (2012). “A Brief History of African Stereotypes, Part 1: Broken, Helpless Africa”. John Edwin Mason, March 9.

Michael, Marc. (2012). “Stuff White People Link n. 135: Humanitarian Intervention”. Jadaliyya, April 11.

Moreno, Antonio. (2011). “U.S. Imperialism Creeps Into Uganda, Central Africa Under Guise of Human Rights”., November 14.

Puryear, Eugene. (2012). “What’s behind Kony 2012? U.S. military intervention cannot be a force for progressive change”. Liberation, March 8.

Savage, Charlie, and Shanker, Thom. (2012). “U.S. Drug War Expands to Africa, a Newer Hub for Cartels”. The New York Times, July 21.

SourceWatch: Amnesty International

Spiegel. (2005). “For God’s Sake, Please Stop the Aid!” Spiegel Online International, April 7.

Straziuso, Jason. (2011). “Somalia, Libya, Uganda: US increases Africa focus”. Associated Press, October 27.

Timmermann, Wibke Kristin. (2006). “Incitement in international criminal law”. International Review of the Red Cross, Volume 88 Number 864, December.

Van Stokkom, Henk. (2012). “The Invisible Christians of #Kony2012Digital Archive, March 19.

Vine, David. (2012). “Yes, Let’s #STOPKONY, But What Happens If the Bad Guy Is Us?Huffington Post, March 14.

VOA. (2009). “Scandal in Chad Raises Adoption Debate”. VOA News, October 27.

Walt, Stephen M. (2012). “Is the ‘Atrocity Prevention Board’ a good idea?Foreign Policy, April 24.

Haiti and the Shaming of the Aid Zealots: How Donated Billions Have INCREASED Poverty and Corruption

One car dealer sold more than 250 Toyota Land Cruisers a month at £40,000 each. ‘You see traffic jams at Friday lunchtime of all the white NGO and UN four-wheel drives heading off early to the beaches for the weekend,’ said one Irish aid worker. ‘It makes me sick.’

By Ian Birrell
27 January 2012

The Daily Mail

The first thing that strikes you is the smell: a sweet, sickly stench that sticks to your skin. It is worst in the morning, since women are terrified of risking a nocturnal trip to the handful of lavatories serving the thousands of people in the camp because of an epidemic of rape. Even the youngest girls are in danger.

I stop to chat to a young man in a green polo shirt. Ricardo Jenty says we must take care because three gunmen have just walked by on their way to settle a feud. He fears trouble; already he has seen friends shot dead.

Ricardo, 25, a father of three young children, recounts how the earthquake that hit Haiti two years ago ruined his home and wrecked his life. His makeshift tent is one of thousands crammed onto what was once a football pitch.

Elianette Derilus tucks her prematurely born new baby daughter in the top of her dress in the maternity wing on January 04, 2012 in Port-Au-Prince, HaitiElianette Derilus tucks her prematurely born new baby daughter in the top of her dress in the maternity wing on January 04, 2012 in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

‘Every day there are fights between gangs. There are so many young bloods that don’t care now. You have to avoid them — most of us don’t want any part of these things.’

Ricardo lifts the faded sheet that serves as his front door. His three-week-old baby lies asleep on the single bed that fills the family’s home, while his two-year old son screams at the back entrance.

The heat under the plastic roof is so intense his wife Roseline, 27, drips with sweat as she describes living in such hell. She looks exhausted. If she is lucky, she says, she has one meal a day, but often goes two days without food, putting salt in water to keep her going.

Since giving birth she has passed out a number of times and does not produce enough breast milk to feed her new son. She shows me a small can of condensed milk she gives him; she cannot afford the baby formula he needs.

So had they seen any of the huge sums of aid donated to alleviate such hardship? They shake their heads — just one hygiene kit from the local Red Cross. ‘I have heard about this aid but never seen it,’ says Roseline. ‘I don’t think people like us stood a chance of getting any of it.’

Two years after the Haiti quake, only 4,769 new houses have been built, and 13,578 homes repaired, while 520,000 people remain in squalid camps


Two years after the Haiti quake, only 4,769 new houses have been built, and 13,578 homes repaired, while 520,000 people remain in squalid camps

Ricardo says it makes him angry. ‘If I looked back two years ago I would never have thought I would still be here in this camp. If the aid organisations really cared about our lives, they could have done something. But how can I have hope for my future, living like this?’

The family’s story shames all those international organisations that flocked to Haiti after the earthquake two years ago, which killed an estimated 225,000 people. It was one of the most devastating natural disasters of recent years — and the world responded in sympathy. The international community claimed to have given  £6.5?billion to heal Haiti’s wounds, while donations poured in to charities.

Earlier this month, on the quake’s second anniversary, aid agencies pumped out press releases proclaiming their successes. Add up all the people they claim to have helped and the number exceeds the population of Haiti.

The reality is rather different — and shines a stark light on the assumptions, arrogance and deficiencies of the ever-growing global relief industry. As promises were broken, mistakes were made and money was wasted, prices of food and basic supplies for local people soared, sanitation deteriorated, there was less safe water to drink and well-meaning interventions made matters infinitely worse.

%d bloggers like this: