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Should we be giving our money to Sir Bob’s latest appeal? (Part 1 – Population)

As Sir Bob Geldorf does another of his “give us your f*****g money” appeals, here are some inconvenient truths from my forthcoming book THE GREAT CHARITY SCANDAL What Really Happens to the Billions We Give to Good Causes?

In 1984, the song ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ was released by Band Aid to raise money to help the starving victims of the 1983-85 Ethiopian famine. The record plus the following year’s Live Aid concert raised around £150 million and made those behind the venture into national heroes.

In 1965, eighteen years before the start of the famine, the population of Ethiopia was about twenty five million. In 1984, in the midst of the famine, the country’s population had passed thirty nine million. Today, Ethiopia’s population is around ninety six million – well over twice the level during the 1983-85 famine and almost four times the population in 1965. There have been similar situations in two other neighbouring African countries where there are regular famines. In Sudan (including South Sudan), the 1965 population was twelve million. Today it’s around fifty million:

population re band aid

 In 1965 the population of Somalia was three million. Today it’s above eleven million.

For all three countries, the population has almost increased by a factor of four from 40 million to 157 million in just fifty years. In comparison, the combined population of Britain, France and Germany only went up from 180 million in 1965 to 211 million today – a rise of just seventeen per cent.

There have been droughts in these countries in 1892, 1913, 1929, 1935, 1942, 1951, 1958, 1966, 1973, 1984 and 1998. It should be more than evident that three largely infertile countries that are regularly affected by drought every seven to ten years cannot successfully support a population that is increasing at such a rate.

It’s understandable why people in these countries have so many children. With a high level of child mortality, few jobs and no pension system, the only way for adults to ensure their future is to produce a large number of children in the hope that some will survive, get jobs and provide for their parents in old age. But what is logical for hundreds of millions of individuals has been a catastrophe for their countries.

Unfortunately, foreign aid’s success in preventing child deaths and starvation in these countries has not been accompanied by a culture change that would lead to a reduction in family size.

Yet when regularly appealing for our money to help with the latest crop failure and famine in these three countries, the charity and aid agencies seem to forget to tell us about how fast these countries’ populations are actually growing and that, however much money we give, these countries will continue to experience droughts and famines because the land is simply unable to support the rapidly increasing numbers of people living there.

6 comments to Should we be giving our money to Sir Bob’s latest appeal? (Part 1 – Population)

  • Juliet 46

    Not many people listen to me when I say it is a question of population growth, to which is added the total corruption of the Governments/Leaderships of these countries.

    May I have your permission to copy this article to send to as many people as I can?

  • Please send it to anyone you wish. Tomorrow, I’ll cover the issue of corruption

  • Sir Bob probably made more out of his association with Band Aid than he did out of record sells. He became a celebrity and was paid by advertisers to endorse products.
    Think of the late Peachs she did not actually do anything but she made quite a lot out of just being a celeberity.
    Maybe Geldolf has some financial reason for raising his profile, As his old Boomtown Rats songs do not get played much now so no royalaties coming in.

  • MGJ

    Looking forward to the new book.

    For those who cannot wait, I’d also recommend Michael Maren’s book “The road to hell”.

  • NoMore

    Sir Bob would get more support from me if he called his campaign DurexAid.

    Course this would upset the Pope and Womb Jihadists too but hey ho.

  • Squarepeg

    Ah yes, Somalia – in my opinion, it would do far more good were Sir Bob to donate the money raised (or even his own money – you note he is another champagne socialist who prefers to maintain his non-dom status in order to minimise his own taxes while declaring that the government – ie the taxpayer – should shell out more in aid) to organisations that are working towards the eradication of FGM. But then, he might find it difficult to sing about that. http://www.unicef.org/somalia/SOM_FGM_Advocacy_Paper.pdf

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