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      France Urges Nations to Match Its Donations to Niger

   Now this will require a little background. Recently I posted that Niger has received over 400 Billion dollars in aid in the last few decades. 400 BILLION dollars. As near as anyone can tell, NONE of that aid has been used for 'aid'. It has gone into the pockets of a succession of tyrants and beauocrats. Niger is the 7th largest producer of oil on the planet. Niger is also a major producer of copper, tin and uranium. Niger is a former French colony. Today, Niger is, after South Africa, the most literate and internet connected country in Africa. Heh, as if you didn't know THAT. Niger has a population that is estimated to be at least 30% infected with HIV/Aids. Currently, Niger has a major drought going on and has perhaps, millions starving because of that.

   France recently donated 'aid' to Niger. In the form of 'energy bars' for the starving children. The GDP, or what is known as the 'purchasing parity' of France is $1.737 TRILLION. Got that? If I'm not mistaken, France is about as valuble as California. Which doesn't mean much, because ... think about it ... would you rather own France or California? Anyway, France is URGING OTHER NATIONS to pony up some aid for Niger. Now, guess how much France has given? Go ahead ... guess. I mean it MUST be a huge number right?

                                                 Let's just see ...


           Aid reaches Niger relief centres
French food aid is unloaded in Maradi, Niger, on 30 July
Actual distribution of the aid is not due to start until next week
Aid has begun reaching feeding centres for the 2.5m people estimated to be facing famine in Niger and distribution is due to begin in earnest next week.

Most supplies are being brought in overland but more than 40 metric tons of emergency UN food aid has arrived by air from Italy and more is due.

Crops in Niger were badly hit this year by drought and a plague of locusts.

France has urged other states to match its donation to a cause one French aid worker said the world was ignoring.

Look at these children the world doesn't give a damn about
Bernard Kouchner
French aid worker

Bernard Kouchner, a co-founder of MSF, was speaking on a visit to malnourished children and their mothers in Djantoudou, in the south of Niger.

"Look at these children the world doesn't give a damn about," he said, a day after landing on a French aid flight.

Disease fears

A cargo plane flying from Brindisi in southern Italy landed in the Niger capital, Niamey, on Friday, carrying 44 tons of high energy biscuits.

Malnourished boy in Maradi, Niger, on 30 July
Tens of thousands of children are living with hunger

Marta Laurienzo, a World Food Programme logistics officer, said the biscuits were used in emergency situations to replace proper meals.

They are due to be delivered by lorry from Niamey hundreds of kilometres to the hard-hit Tahoua and Maradi regions for distribution in local villages.

Doctors have warned that disease is now also a serious threat, particularly to undernourished children.

"These children are very, very vulnerable," Johanne Sekkenes, mission head for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Niger, told Reuters news agency.

"If they're already malnourished and they get malaria they need expert medical and nutritional help straight away."

'Aid delay'

France, the former colonial power, announced it was increasing its 2005 food aid to Niger to 4.6m euros ($5.6m).

Inspecting the aid effort on Saturday, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said:

"I'm happy to see that France is the biggest donor but other countries must do the same."

Speaking to Reuters news agency, he accused the international community of failing to react in time.

Eleven of the UK's leading charities have launched an appeal for Niger which they hope may raise around £10m ($17.6m).

...$5.6 million dollars. $5.6 million dollars. $5.6 million dollars. That wouldn't cover Michael Jackson's lawyer's catering bills. That wouldn't pay Jacques Chirac's rent. That wouldn't upholster a single AirBus 300.

And France wants everybody to MATCH THAT???

I've said it before and I'll say it again ... Fuck France.

...BBC   (where else?)


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Off-topic, sort of... But what's with Africa? NOTHING seems to help that country. It is like static misery writ large. For every adult killed by disease, famine, or violence, a baby is born.

Depressing. It really is a perfect example of Malthusian Theory.

Hmmm ... make that 4 babies PHX.

Yeah, but three of them die before the age of five.

Hmmm ... that would double the population then huh?

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