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Thread: Aiding Nepal

  1. #11

    Re: Aiding Nepal

    Quote Originally Posted by devotee View Post
    I don't agree with the view that Nepal doesn't need money at this crucial juncture. Money is the most important thing that Nepal needs right now as NGOs working there can apportion money to the right areas of need.
    Namaste devotee,

    I do not question your sincere intentions, but now look at reality

    Haiti Earthquake: Five Years After

    On Jan. 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck Haiti, killing more than 160,000 and displacing close to 1.5 million people. Five year later, scars of the tragedy remain in Port-au-Prince, says photographer Gael Turine, who has spent the last 10 years photographing the country.

    “When you walk around the country’s capital Port-au-Prince, you still see half-destroyed buildings around town,” he tells TIME. “The wounds are still here, and everyone says that they’re living in worse conditions than before.”

    Given the costs of recovery from such a shattering catastrophe, it might seem logical that an impoverished country such as Haiti would still feel the effects a half-decade later, if it weren’t for the unprecedented help the Republic received in its aftermath. “When you look at the history of humanitarian relief, there’s never been a situation when such a small country has been the target of such a massive influx of money and assistance in such a short span of time,” says Turine. “On paper, with that much money in a territory the size of Haiti, we should have witnessed miracles; there should have been results.”

    And yet the situation on the ground is dire, says the Belgian photographer: “Two years ago, there were still refugee camps in Port-au-Prince’s center. Now, they are gone, but the people have been merely displaced. They now live in the city’s suburbs – in these prefabricated shacks – [with] a parallel economy.”

    For Turine, the international community has crushed the country’s hopes. “NGOs are pulling out, creditors have stopped investing,” he says. “Haitians find themselves in a social and economic situation that is worse than before the earthquake.” And yet, its people subsist. “I feel there’s this collective energy that comes from how close all Haitians live with each other. There’s this idea of collectivity, which leads to certain neighborhoods taking control of their own fate – cleaning up their streets, opening up their schools, etc. They have been forced to take over from the government, which is unable to offer these services.”

    Still, he has no doubt that Haitians will weather the crisis, even as it stretches on. “It’s already a victory to see that the country hasn’t exploded, especially when you see what has happened in the last decades — from Jean-Claude Duvalier to Jean-Bertrand Aristide, from the cholera to hurricanes, the country has faced a succession of social, political and environmental crises,” Turine says. “The fact that Haitians haven’t succumbed to madness shows that they’re resilient.”
    Where does this believe come from that lots of Money helps? Money is simply another manifestation of greed. The more excess money is poured in the more it fuels greed with all parties concerned. All want a piece of this tasty pie. The more money is going around, the more ruthless opportunists it attracts. Look at areas in Africa where they find diamonds. There is no prosperity there, only constant bloody war. War in itself again is such a profitable business that military industry and contractors are lobbying for engaging in conflicts. Money drives out ethics.

    Because of the delays many people under the rubble died that may have been saved. In stead of countries sending rescue teams and equipment right away, we are first starting campaigns to raise money. We need money! Nonsense. No money should be given at all, only direct help by other governments, that way local governments do not develop alterior motives for asking help. Go in help the people with food, medicine, shelter, and immediately start rebuilding infrastructure and housing, then leave. The people will do the rest. But do not give money.

    If you do not repair infrastructure and housing right away, people will still be waiting twenty years after. In the mean time the relief organizations have found other disasters to raise new fresh delightful crisp money for. They are not going to tell the donors people in Haiti still live in the sewer. That would not reflect well would it? That could actually diminish the motivation of people to give money. We do not want that. There are ample places in the world where people are suffering and they could spend their excess money, but they specialize only in disasters.

    Pouring lots of money in a local economy is a disaster because it makes part of the people richer, leads to price rises, and thus makes the poor actually poorer. That is why in the richest country in the world a considerable part of the population is living below the poverty line and do not profit from national growth, while in a poor country like Cuba all have decent food, shelter, education, and health care. Because it is not the amount of money that counts but the distribution.

    People that give money want to see themselves as generous caring givers that put smiles on the faces of children, and that is the kind of pictures they are shown and the stories they are told. Relief organizations know exactly what people want to hear. Thanks to your money we saved this child! So why where some American organizations quickly going into Haity to pick up children and adopt them with false papers, leaving their parents desperate? And why do children in great numbers become victim of kidnapping? That is the other side of all those private organizations entering the country.

    Now another extreme:
    In India there are holy men who reject possession. Whatever they receive they immediately distribute among their followers. It can create funny situations. When they are asked by families to visit for help, they refuse reward but they are given money for the taxi. As the taxi fares can range widely, they get many times the amount they need. But whatever they have in their hands they give to the lucky driver, making these poorest of all people the most generous payers.

    It is a sad world in which we believe that we can no longer help each other without money exchanging hands. Nowadays governments are creating ever more money to satisfy growing greed. But that money is not creating wealth, but only the illusion of wealth. Money has become the only way to get people doing things. The rich want it and the poor need it. And the more is created the more the rich want it and the more the poor need it.

    If there is any place where money should not play a role it is in giving people in need direct support. If even that needs to be controlled by money, there is little hope for turning things around elsewhere.

  2. #12
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    Re: Aiding Nepal

    Namaste Avyadya,

    I won't argue on this issue and won't say that what you are saying is wrong because there is truth in what you say. Whenever someone asks help from me, the questions you have raised come to my mind too. When there is clarity that my money is going to be abused then I walk away. However, when I feel that even though part of my money will be wasted or pocketed by some undeserving persons but a good part of it will reach the right needy man then I decide to give.

    See, money creates greed and easy money creates even more greed and that is the cause of all troubles you are enumerating. However, if we stick to this thinking, many people would just die for want of help from people who can afford to give. If I can give / if I can spare something for the people who need, I thank God that God has offered me to be in such an advantageous position that I can give. It is more tormenting when you come to know - "the person I refused to help was really in need and because I refused to help, he suffered" ... than this - "person who I chose to give was unworthy of my help".

    "Om Namo Bhagvate Vaasudevaye"

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