Monday, September 29, 2008

'Serious Financial Consequences'

One million people, mainly children under five and pregnant women, die every year of malaria, most of them in Africa. Now in a new development, world leaders have gathered and decided to do something about it. Result? They're going to give $3 Billion to end this scourge.

The largest slice of the new money comes from the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which has approved $1.62bn in country grants over two years and then the World Bank, which is putting $1.1bn into Africa over three years.

The Bank is focusing especially on Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, where 30-40% of all malaria deaths take place. Group president Robert B Zoellick said that endemic malaria also has serious financial consequences for families.

Ah - that must the key! 'Serious financial consequences'. Never mind that a million people die per year - what is this costing the global economy?

Maybe that is why there is all the action to bail out the US banking industry to the tune of $700 Billion! And it is amazing how quickly this has been resolved. 'Serious financial consequences'

Ask not how many people die of AIDS each year, or how many are starving. Don't enquire too closely where much of the existing foreign aid ends up anyway, as the people die in third world countries and their political leaders get fatter by the day. Ask only 'are there any serious financial consequences?' Going by the fugures involved in the twin bail-outs, that's all that really matters to us anyway.