Aid/NGOs/Philanthropy

Does US Foreign Aid Really Do Good (Washington Examiner Magazine 09/27/15)

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Does US Foreign Aid Really Do Good (Washington Examiner Magazine 09/27/15)

About a decade ago, a five-car convoy of Toyota Land Cruisers pulled up in a cloud of dust at a remote village on the edge of a South Asian mountain range. The passengers, all of them Westerners apart from an interpreter, walked over to where a canopy had been set up by an advance team the [Read more…]

Aid on Viewpoints (BBC)

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Thanks to all the UK government rhetoric about “leading the world on aid to Syrian refugees” following the House of Commons vote against military intervention, the general topic of foreign aid is once again on the news agenda. (Aid industry lobbyists of course see the Syrian crisis as an opportunity to argue for an even greater [Read more…]

Learning Nothing From Experience

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The Legatum Institute think tank in London has has published a “report” by former Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell entitled “A Safer and More Prosperous World — Why Aid Really Matters in an age of Austerity“. It’s essentially a short marketing-style pamphlet celebrating British foreign aid in its current form. It takes no note of any of [Read more…]

"That's Your Cash Being Tossed Away..." (The Sunday Times, March 3 2013)

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That’s your cash tossed away with those aid leaflets The Urdu sign above the door of the one-room concrete building proclaimed it to be a government medical dispensary. Inside, it was an empty shell. When I asked my guides to this village in the Kalash valleys of northwest Pakistan where the medicines were and when the [Read more…]

The Great Aid Mystery (The Spectator 5/Jan/2013)

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The Great Aid Mystery (The Spectator 5/Jan/2013)

One of the more bizarre mysteries of contemporary British politics is the ironclad, almost fanatical intensity of the government’s commitment to foreign aid spending and the activities of DFID, the Department for International Development. It is bizarre because the Prime Minister talks about foreign aid as if it’s all about famine relief and saving children’s lives. [Read more…]

Taking the Private Jet to Copenhagen (Sunday Times Mag 29 Nov 2009)

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Any celebrity flying the green flag needs glittering eco-credentials. But how do they justify the fleet of customised planes, the luxury homes and the posse of servants Hypocrisy is the vice we find hardest to forgive, but it’s also the one we most enjoy discovering in others. And nothing piques our interest more than eco-hypocrisy as [Read more…]

How Hollywood Finds Its Causes - Sunday Times (Oct. 04, 2009)

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Meet the discreet power brokers of the talent agencies who match influential charities with guilt-ridden celebrities The headquarters of the United Talent Agency is in a gleaming white building on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Inside, it looks and feels surprisingly like a corporate law firm. The men pacing around the glass-walled offices wear crisp white [Read more…]

The last enclave of pagan tribespeople in remotest Pakistan might already have fallen to the combined ravages of modernity and militant Islam were it not for a redoubtable, eccentric Englishwoman. The journey to Birir in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan takes you along a terrifying jeep track of 11 hairpin miles. It winds so sharply [Read more…]

After a disastrous attempt to climb K2, former US Army medic Greg Mortenson had to be nursed back to health by the inhabitants of a remote and impoverished Pakistani village. He vowed to repay them by building a local school, and has now built more than 60 in similar areas across south Asia. Jonathan Foreman meets [Read more…]