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Swarz

Make Poverty History

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Swarz

Along with hundreds of thousand of other people in the UK, I sport the increasingly popular white wristband reading 'Make Poverty History' every time I leave the house. It's a demonstration, albeit a small one, of my support to ending poverty in the forgotten continent of Africa.

 

Some of my friends question this. "Why pay a quid for a wristband... you're not gonna make a difference." Others think I've done it purely because it's fashionable (especially so at Uni), while others tend to immediately brand me as am extremist left-wing tree hugging commie hippie.

 

 

As much as I know this to be untrue, analysing my beliefs is not the intention of this topic. What I wish to discuss, is whether the MPH campaign will be a success or a dramatic failure? Will it highlight Africas problems and draw greater attention to the forgotten world, or is Blair talking to the brick wall of the developed worlds population?

 

 

To start, I'll throw in a few thoughts...

 

Blairs effort

The G8 summit this summer, of which the UK has the Presidency, will act as a podium on which Tony Blair will proclaim his intention to help bring Africa out of poverty. But already this incentive has run into problems - both Germany and Italy have indicated a refusal to increase their aid to the third world, while the EU Commission is attempting to use the UKs commissioner, Peter Mandelson, to get his good friend Blair to change his mind.

 

We must also realise that this is a British government that is unpopular with many nations on the world stage, perhaps due to it's warlike nature. Hypocritically, this Government continues to permit the 'Arms Fair' in the docklands with the sale of expensive weapons to corrupt third world governments. This Government even permitted the sale of a 28 million quid air control system to Tanzania a couple of years back - a country which has only 6 military aircraft and where half the population don't have access to running water.

 

Tony Blair has previously been seen as a lapdog to Bush, yet now he is attempting to become the front-runner in leading the fight against poverty. Does he really care, or is this simply opportunism to try and raise his profile at home and abroad?

 

Africas Problems

Further more, what good is aid payments if nations continue to be ruled by corrupt governments? Surely they'll only continue to absorb aid into their bank accounts and withold supplies from their people. This all comes in the wake of a deepening crisis in Zimbabwe, where 10,000 street traders were arrested yesterday for voting for the opposition party. In Sudan, genocide and ethnic cleansing still rock the country. The Ivory Coast is still split in two, struck by civil war.

 

The Somalian government still operates out of Kenya, with the country deemed far too dangerous to return to. Rwanda is still on its knees after a genocide in 1994 killed 800,000 people in just 100 days, with the developed world failing to intervene (although, France did help by selling machetes to the country).

 

 

So...

What's the prospect? Will Blair rally the world to his cause or not? Even if he does, will it really make a difference... what good can aid payments do in the face of this huge mound of problems? What possible solutions are there to removing Africas corrupt dictators?

 

Every day, 30,000 children die due to extreme poverty - I ask now... can we help?

 

 

 

 

Sources include The Guardian, BBC News, university lecture notes (source unspecified), and the Make Poverty History website.

 

http://www.makepovertyhistory.org/

Edited by Swarz

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Hooded

If enough people participate I'm sure it will help greatly, but there still isn't much they can do about the AID's so far. Except for stoping people with AID's from intercourse, which is rather drastic but would work in theory.

 

They just need a helping hand, a big one.

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Jow

 

Except for stoping people with AID's from intercourse, which is rather drastic but would work in theory

 

I'd like to hear the theory that explains how that would work...

 

 

The problem with poverty is that no one in the developed world actually cares. I mean, we do 'care', but not enough.

And I put myself into that category as well.

 

Swarz cares enough about the situation to buy a 1 Pound wristband...I care enough to drop a few pennies into buckets that get thrust in my direction...some people care enough to send some money each month to a charity, but it isn't good enough.

 

We all value ourselves higher than others, if we really wanted to help, wouldn't we sign up with a charity and fly out there to get our hands dirty? Wouldn't we send half of our wages each month to developing countries?

 

Humans are basically selfish, we want our money to go into our own pockets to further develop the quality of our own lives. And that is the problem. The problem with poverty will never go away, because we will always be human.

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BenMillard

 

Except for stoping people with AID's from intercourse, which is rather drastic but would work in theory
I'd like to hear the theory that explains how that would work...It is carried in bodily fluids. If people don't transfer their bodily fluids between each other, they won't transfer the disease.

 

However, it goes further than just restricting intercourse or using condoms. The lack of public sanitation, clean water and hygiene in hospitals are also part of what allows the disease to continue spreading. Many of these things are simply the symptoms of poverty; one cannot afford to pay for antiseptic if one cannot even afford water. Furthermore, governments cannot afford the infrastructure for clean public water supply when they cannot even afford a police force capable of preventing malitias and violent criminals.

 

Bear in mind that although money is itself largely conceptual, it represents real work which will be done by real people to bring about real change.

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spoof

I doubt anyone could accuse me of being too much of an optimist. It’s not the case than I want to be a pessimist, but reality doesn’t exactly pander to the former outlook on life sad.gif

 

Articles such as THIS, of which there are more than enough to be more than merely alarmist propaganda, don’t exactly help the cause.

 

Swarz is a far better man than I for actually trying to make a difference re: the white wristband, but once again reality rears its ‘ugly’ head.

 

 

Wristbands purchased by British charities as part of the Make Poverty History campaign have been manufactured in conditions that breach international ethical standards, it emerged yesterday.

Chinese companies responsible for wristbands worn by thousand of charity supporters, celebrities and politicians, including Tony Blair, have been accused of indulging in forced labour and of paying less than the official minimum wage. An audit also discovered breaches of health and safety regulations……………………….

 

An audit report on Fuzhou Xing Chun Trade Company, in Fujian province, said workers were paid below the local minimum hourly wage of 2.39 yuan (16p), to as low as 1.39 yuan (9p). They were insufficiently rewarded for overtime work, had no paid annual leave and suffered pay deductions for disciplinary reasons

 

SOURCE

 

Like I said, I don’t want to be a pessimist, but that is the road down which I am increasingly directed confused.gif

 

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Red Hat Girl

Hey, I was just about to post an article related to this , concerning the Live-8 concerts being held across Europe and the US to make poverty history. People do care, but people feel helpless because they don't see a way to take it on besides trying to persuade G-8 leaders to do something, and, no matter how passionate people are about it, those leaders aren't going to submit because ultimately, ending poverty, or even just doing basic steps to lesson it internationally, would mean ending imperialism. But this isn't to say that shouldn't participate in these campaigns. At the very least we need more practice building mass movements confronting these outrageous problems and more discussion and analysis on how to solve them.

 

http://rwor.org/a/007/horror-poverty-hope-change.htm

 

and with ending Aids, promoting the use of condoms and general health policies would be a huge step towards containing the disease, but the official US government policy to to promote abstinence. This is a huge ideological problem with the current administration. Think about what it means to promote abstinence internationally as your official health policy, to argue for it at international Aids conferences as representatives of the US have done.

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ISuck

We need an exit strategy for the war on poverty. Quick.

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YeTi

I believe it is impossible.

 

And those wrist bands i think are dumb why pay a quid for one? I heard somewere that only 10p from each one of those goes to africa. So thats 90p going somewere else i think they cost no more than 20p to produce so thats 70p unused thats is probably going into some rich bastards bank account. I know 70p on it's own isn't much but when there is thousands been sold it amounts to quite alot.

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ISuck
I believe it is impossible.

 

And those wrist bands i think are dumb why pay a quid for one? I heard somewere that only 10p from each one of those goes to africa. So thats 90p going somewere else i think they cost no more than 20p to produce so thats 70p unused thats is probably going into some rich bastards bank account. I know 70p on it's own isn't much but when there is thousands been sold it amounts to quite alot.

That's the problem with foreign aid. People dont understand how very little of it actually gets to where it's supposed to be and how much of it ends up in the wrong hands. And do you maybe have a link to back up those numbers? If what you're saying is true that's really scary that 70% of sales is probably going to corrupt african governments.

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The Nefarious Jester

Celebrities like bob geldoff who actually go out there, who actually give their money directly to charities out there are what really makes a difference, celebrities who just get in on an "aid" show to get publicity are pure muppets.

Edited by The Nefarious Jester

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BenMillard

Bear in mind that even a little UK currency goes a f*cking long way in poor nations. Also, the campaign is ending global poverty, not just in Africa.

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ISuck

Anybody else think this whole thing with Live 8 is complete bullsh*t?

 

Yea, let's throw more money at the problem, it's obviously working. Celebrities like Bono and Bob Geldof think that maybe if we just give them a couple more hundreds of millions, then poverty and famine and disease will magically vanish.

 

That's not the case at all. The Live 8 concerts are supposedly to influence the G8 summit to make a real plan to end poverty(the idea of ending poverty in general is bullsh*t, maybe raise the standard of living of those who are impovershed, but ending poverty is not practical). But from what I've seen, they've only asked the world leaders to erase the debt and give more money. This primarily means the US so really the whole thing is Bono and Bob Geldof asking for a huge tax increase.

 

A real solution to this problem would be to confront the warlords and corrupt governments that all your aid money is really going to. A real solution would be to pressure the African people to rise, declare their rights and create new governments dedicated to free trade. Africa has the potential to be the most dominate continent on Earth with its rich minerals and industrious people. But instead it is the most corrupt continent on Earth, and apparently the best way to combat a corrupt government is to give it money.

 

 

Oh well, the music is good(the Coldplay-Bittersweet Symphony was awesome)

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Swarz

 

Yea, let's throw more money at the problem, it's obviously working. Celebrities like Bono and Bob Geldof think that maybe if we just give them a couple more hundreds of millions, then poverty and famine and disease will magically vanish.

 

 

I don't think that's what they believe. If that's so, Geldof is a complete idiot, given his previous Live Aid concert and continuing poverty in Africa.

 

 

It's man-made factors like a glaringly unjust global trade system, a debt burden so great that it suffocates any chance of recovery and insufficient and ineffective aid.

 

They acknowledge Africas stacks of problems, but lifting their debt is surely the first step to recovery. Fact is, the 30,000 kids who die tomorrow - nothing can be done to help them. Nor the 30k who die the next day, or the next. It's the ones months or years down the line that they're trying to save, and I think they recognise that.

 

 

A real solution to this problem would be to confront the warlords and corrupt governments that all your aid money is really going to. A real solution would be to pressure the African people to rise, declare their rights and create new governments dedicated to free trade. Africa has the potential to be the most dominate continent on Earth with its rich minerals and industrious people. But instead it is the most corrupt continent on Earth, and apparently the best way to combat a corrupt government is to give it money.

 

I agree to an extent. But then again, read my opening post:

 

 

This all comes in the wake of a deepening crisis in Zimbabwe, where 10,000 street traders were arrested yesterday for voting for the opposition party.

 

You oppose corrupt and barbaric govts and this is what you get. Govt security forces or funded militias who happily go out and assault, kill, rape or destroy any forms of opposition to ensure the continuity of their lives. "With us or against us comes to mind." confused.gif Life sucks.

 

The action that needs to be taken is that similar to what has recently been taken in Libya with Gadafi (sp?). That the nation is brought into the international fold so long as it opens up to international inspection and begins a process of wide-ranging reform, and incentives are provided to encourage this. I personally see this as the only possible way to end Africas problems - otherwise it's simply a battle that will never be won.

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ISuck

 

Yea, let's throw more money at the problem, it's obviously working. Celebrities like Bono and Bob Geldof think that maybe if we just give them a couple more hundreds of millions, then poverty and famine and disease will magically vanish.

 

 

I don't think that's what they believe. If that's so, Geldof is a complete idiot, given his previous Live Aid concert and continuing poverty in Africa.

 

 

I watched the whole broadcast pretty much, and all of those little commercials about the G8 and stuff was a plead for more money. More money can be effective if spent correctly on the correct people, but we obviously haven't done that in the past 20 years and Geldof has made no attempt to distinguish this critique

 

 

 

It's man-made factors like a glaringly unjust global trade system, a debt burden so great that it suffocates any chance of recovery and insufficient and ineffective aid.

 

They acknowledge Africas stacks of problems, but lifting their debt is surely the first step to recovery. Fact is, the 30,000 kids who die tomorrow - nothing can be done to help them. Nor the 30k who die the next day, or the next. It's the ones months or years down the line that they're trying to save, and I think they recognise that.

 

Bush eliminated the debt(I believe its a circumstancial elimination, meaning as long as governments cooperate and allow aid to where its supposed to go, they will be rewarded with debt reduction)

 

 

 

 

 

A real solution to this problem would be to confront the warlords and corrupt governments that all your aid money is really going to. A real solution would be to pressure the African people to rise, declare their rights and create new governments dedicated to free trade. Africa has the potential to be the most dominate continent on Earth with its rich minerals and industrious people. But instead it is the most corrupt continent on Earth, and apparently the best way to combat a corrupt government is to give it money.

 

I agree to an extent. But then again, read my opening post:

 

 

This all comes in the wake of a deepening crisis in Zimbabwe, where 10,000 street traders were arrested yesterday for voting for the opposition party.

 

You oppose corrupt and barbaric govts and this is what you get. Govt security forces or funded militias who happily go out and assault, kill, rape or destroy any forms of opposition to ensure the continuity of their lives. "With us or against us comes to mind." confused.gif Life sucks.

 

The action that needs to be taken is that similar to what has recently been taken in Libya with Gadafi (sp?). That the nation is brought into the international fold so long as it opens up to international inspection and begins a process of wide-ranging reform, and incentives are provided to encourage this. I personally see this as the only possible way to end Africas problems - otherwise it's simply a battle that will never be won.

 

See, in the entire 8 hour broadcast, I never once heard Geldof or any others mention that aid needs to get to the right people and I never heard criticism of the African governments(although I heard a lot of criticism of the g8 countries). I think Geldof wants to cover his ass because of how his original LiveAid idea of just charity turned out to be a really bad idea

 

If the Live 8 had been about pressuring African governments and G8 governments, I might be more in tune to it. But still, basically what they are asking for, is money from the G8 countries. The money will undoubtedly come from the world bank and the IMF. Both are which primarily American funded. So it all amounts to the world gathering to ask America for a tax increase. How kind.

 

 

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BenMillard

Bear in mind that the concerts are just the public event to raise awareness and funding - same as the original Live Aid concert. They are not the actual political platform and you had seen Bono's interview on Meet The Press last week you would have heard him saying that the celebs are just the public face to the campaign. The protocols, plans, research and communication with the people of impoverished nations is undertaken by reporters, institutes, charities, organisations, businesses and volunteers.

 

In this and other interviews, especially those I have seen from Bob Geldoff, the concerns about corruption are discussed at great length. Your admance that these events have never taken place simply because you don't know about them is an illustration of your ignorance. The reality is that this campaign is realistic and informed. Live Aid did a great deal of good for Africa since it placed it squarely in the political and social agenda of developed countries. It will be a gradual process which is why the figureheads like Bono talk about this being a generational process. Of course, since you are so poorly informed you will be unaware of this.

 

Bush has not eliminated any debt, lol. All which has been agreed is a general consent to discuss the issues. Leaders of developed nations have really dragged their heels about even discussing debt reduction historically, so it is a very encouraging move nonetheless. G8 nations certainly havn't dragged their heels about exploiting poor nations, selling weapons to dictators and funding political wars historically. This political cycle offers an excellent opportunity for G8 nations to take a little responsibility for problems which are partly their own fault, as well as constructing a long-term plan for alleviating the suffering of humans living in hardship unimaginable to ourselves.

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ISuck

 

Bear in mind that the concerts are just the public event to raise awareness and funding - same as the original Live Aid concert.  They are not the actual political platform and you had seen Bono's interview on Meet The Press last week you would have heard him saying that the celebs are just the public face to the campaign.  The protocols, plans, research and communication with the people of impoverished nations is undertaken by reporters, institutes, charities, organisations, businesses and volunteers.

 

In this and other interviews, especially those I have seen from Bob Geldoff, the concerns about corruption are discussed at great length.  Your admance that these events have never taken place simply because you don't know about them is an illustration of your ignorance.  The reality is that this campaign is realistic and informed.  Live Aid did a great deal of good for Africa since it placed it squarely in the political and social agenda of developed countries.  It will be a gradual process which is why the figureheads like Bono talk about this being a generational process.  Of course, since you are so poorly informed you will be unaware of this.

 

I don't think you understand.

 

I watched every bit of Live 8. I listened to what wasn't on TV on the radio. 8 hours of coverage or whatever it was and they never raised the questions I was asking. 8 hours of coverage and all I saw was advertisement for "fair trade not free trade"(a platform which doesn't make sense in the least). I saw some blame America sh*t and I saw a few things on the background of the G8. Corruption of the governments in Africa was NEVER discussed. And neither was the fact that what they really want is a tax hike for America. Im sure they're truely genuine in their search for aid and that strikes a nerve deep down inside but Live 8 was a joke. Nobody really has a grasp on the economics of the situation and what better solutions there are.

 

Of course, since you're so poorly informed on economics, you will be unaware of this.

 

 

Bush has not eliminated any debt, lol.  All which has been agreed is a general consent to discuss the issues.  Leaders of developed nations have really dragged their heels about even discussing debt reduction historically, so it is a very encouraging move nonetheless.  G8 nations certainly havn't dragged their heels about exploiting poor nations, selling weapons to dictators and funding political wars historically. This political cycle offers an excellent opportunity for G8 nations to take a little responsibility for problems which are partly their own fault, as well as constructing a long-term plan for alleviating the suffering of humans living in hardship unimaginable to ourselves.

 

Good Bush shouldn't eliminate the debt. We've got a defecit and people aren't happy. This is an excellent reason why America should be non-interventionist. That means no stupid wars or stupid alliances, it also means no aid from taxpayer dollars, no debt reduction, no aid period. Foreign aid is unconstitutional, if you want aid to those countries, private charity would be a better choice that truly demonstrated America's passion to relive poverty in Africa.

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BenMillard

 

Bear in mind that the concerts are just the public event to raise awareness and funding - same as the original Live Aid concert.  They are not the actual political platform and you had seen Bono's interview on Meet The Press last week you would have heard him saying that the celebs are just the public face to the campaign.  The protocols, plans, research and communication with the people of impoverished nations is undertaken by reporters, institutes, charities, organisations, businesses and volunteers.

 

In this and other interviews, especially those I have seen from Bob Geldoff, the concerns about corruption are discussed at great length.  Your admance that these events have never taken place simply because you don't know about them is an illustration of your ignorance.  The reality is that this campaign is realistic and informed.  Live Aid did a great deal of good for Africa since it placed it squarely in the political and social agenda of developed countries.  It will be a gradual process which is why the figureheads like Bono talk about this being a generational process.  Of course, since you are so poorly informed you will be unaware of this.

I don't think you understand.

 

I watched every bit of Live 8. I listened to what wasn't on TV on the radio. 8 hours of coverage or whatever it was and they never raised the questions I was asking. 8 hours of coverage and all I saw was advertisement for "fair trade not free trade"(a platform which doesn't make sense in the least). I saw some blame America sh*t and I saw a few things on the background of the G8. Corruption of the governments in Africa was NEVER discussed. And neither was the fact that what they really want is a tax hike for America. Im sure they're truely genuine in their search for aid and that strikes a nerve deep down inside but Live 8 was a joke. Nobody really has a grasp on the economics of the situation and what better solutions there are.

 

Of course, since you're so poorly informed on economics, you will be unaware of this.

What I don't understand is how you missed the part where I pointed out "the concerts are just the public event to raise awareness and funding" because that makes what you are saying irrelevant. Live 8 was just one element of the campaign and it did exactly what is was supposed to: Raise awareness and generate funds. A music concert is not a format where the issues can be discussed in depth; that is what the interviews from Make Poverty History spokespeople on shows such as the BBC's "HARDtalk" or MSNBC's "Meet the Press" are for. I'm pretty sure they give interviews for the news channels, newspapers and so on. That's where much of the detail gets fleshed out but if you really want the facts and figures you'll have to hunt for them. The Make Poverty History website has a bit of information but after a quick skim through it I didn't find it particularly exhaustive.

 

 

Bush has not eliminated any debt, lol.  All which has been agreed is a general consent to discuss the issues.  Leaders of developed nations have really dragged their heels about even discussing debt reduction historically, so it is a very encouraging move nonetheless.  G8 nations certainly havn't dragged their heels about exploiting poor nations, selling weapons to dictators and funding political wars historically. This political cycle offers an excellent opportunity for G8 nations to take a little responsibility for problems which are partly their own fault, as well as constructing a long-term plan for alleviating the suffering of humans living in hardship unimaginable to ourselves.
Good. Bush shouldn't eliminate the debt. We've got a defecit and people aren't happy. This is an excellent reason why America should be non-interventionist. That means no stupid wars or stupid alliances, it also means no aid from taxpayer dollars, no debt reduction, no aid period. Foreign aid is unconstitutional, if you want aid to those countries, private charity would be a better choice that truly demonstrated America's passion to relieve poverty in Africa.That would be a traditional, isolationist outlook. However, we live in a global community an G8 nations have an increasing dependence on the stability of less developed nations. In the long term (centuries ahead) the future of Africa and other wealthless nations will play a vital part of global stability and progress. Either they will continue requiring impossible amounts of charitable aid or there can be a concerted effort by able nations to assist in the sustainable development of those in need.

 

Suggesting this is some sort of global conspiracy against the ordinary US citizen is quite absurd. America stands to gain the most from this long-term development since it will no doubt be building McDonald's and Starbuck's on every street corner, as well as setting up military bases. This is an effective strategy for gaining wealth, influence and - most importantly - force projection. Gradually turing all those developing nations into productive, active economies buying US products will be beneficial, not detrimental.

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ISuck

 

Suggesting this is some sort of global conspiracy against the ordinary US citizen is quite absurd. America stands to gain the most from this long-term development since it will no doubt be building McDonald's and Starbuck's on every street corner, as well as setting up military bases. This is an effective strategy for gaining wealth, influence and - most importantly - force projection. Gradually turing all those developing nations into productive, active economies buying US products will be beneficial, not detrimental

 

That would be a traditional, isolationist outlook.

 

I prefer non-interventionist.

 

 

However, we live in a global community an G8 nations have an increasing dependence on the stability of less developed nations.  In the long term (centuries ahead) the future of Africa and other wealthless nations will play a vital part of global stability and progress.

 

Which is why free trade should be made more prominent to enrich the citizens. Africa has the possibility of being one of the richest areas of the world because of its rich resources. The best thing for Africa is for silly tariffs to be erased and free trade be instated.

 

 

Either they will continue requiring impossible amounts of charitable aid or there can be a concerted effort by able nations to assist in the sustainable development of those in need.

 

Again, a better way to do this is not through billions and billions of taxpayer dollars, it's through free trade.

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hooked on sanandreas gurrl

I think when the more privalledged countries quit being greedy, poverty will stop. For instance, I'm sure we can handle the highways and roads not being fixed for a year, and donate all that money to a poorer country or something. All the countries owe eachother something anyway, from costly wars.

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