Whilst driving home today I tuned into the evening news on BBC Radio 4  I heard something that left me dumb founded. I actually didn’t think that it was possible to be shocked or surprised by what is wrong with AID to developing countries.

The news item that left me dumb founded was vulture funds and at this stage I would like to come clean and say I had never heard of  Vulture funds  and perhaps that is why I was left dumb founded.

These funds work on the basis on buying up third world debt, knowing very well that the third world country is so poor and is unlikely to pay and when this become evident the “vultures” pounce.

What is shocking about this is that these vultures are not breaking the law well not here in the UK anyway. There is however an irony in this because the third world country is unlikely to pay and the only way that country can pay is by dipping into the AID that is allocated to it for health, education, or food. Furthermore, AID is made available through our tax system and as such we the tax payers are  putting money into these  vultures pockets.

This is disturbing news indeed! I have just finished reading  a book called DEAD AID by Dambisa Moyo in which she makes a case for cutting AID to Africa. She argues that Africa remains poor because of AID. It is an intriguing book and one I would recommend everyone interested in matters of international development should read.

She isn’t without   her critics and one of them is Stacey Patton however based on the case of vulture funds it is easy to see why her suggestions make sense. Interestingly her native Zambia was the first country to become a victim of vulture funds.

Sally Keeble a British MP has taken up the call to end this practice and you can read about it here

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/may/06/vulture-funds

I am at a loss as to what it would take for western governments to realise that unless AID is structured and monitored there will always be the case of winners and losers and that the losers are those in dire need of our support.

Would love to hear your view on any of the issues raised here

Advertisements