The Seven Worst International Aid Ideas

cluster111Matador Network on the “worst attempts at helping others since colonialism”. There’s the inexplicable — entrepreneur Jason Sadler’s 1 Million T-Shirts campaign, which involved producing and shipping a million t-shirts for donation to strife-affected (but presumably clothed) Africans for no apparent reason.

But the actual worst may be the United States’ scattering the hills of Afghanistan with food packets — intended for hungry Afghan children — identical in appearance to the cluster bombs also scattered by the U.S. through the same regions:

Each yellow BLU-97 bomblet is the size of a soda can and is capable of killing anyone within a 50 meter radius and severely injuring anyone within 100 meters from the detonation. A Humanitarian Daily Rations (HDR) package contains a 2,000 calorie meal.

It was inevitable that Afghans coming across the yellow packages in the field would confuse the two. Children in particular — with no English and little idea of what a BLU-97 is even if they did — would investigate the yellow containers and try to pick them up, with devastating consequences that an Air Force general described as “unfortunate.”

11 Comments on "The Seven Worst International Aid Ideas"

  1. and I’m supposed to assume that was an accident?_?

  2. Investinourftre | Mar 8, 2012 at 11:57 am |

    There’s only 1?  WTF put the joint down.

  3. Jin The Ninja | Mar 8, 2012 at 12:49 pm |

     “as Zizek explains most succinctly,
    is that on a big-picture level, TOMS (and other
    buy-my-product-and-donate companies) are busy building the exploitative
    global structure that produces economic inequality, while on the other
    hand pretending that supporting them actually does something to fix it.”

    • Nerf Herder | Mar 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm |

      “It doesn’t. It just gives people shoes.”

      one of the best cut and dry statements from the article

  4. Probably intentional.

  5. And the american gov. really gives a damn about people that are not american, white, christian and rich?

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