In my heart, I will never be able to understand the aid industry, but if I follow its logic, here are some lessons to be learned:
- Assume that all of Africa is in a state of emergency as the majority of its population does not eat our foods, nor do they have access to electricity.
- Knowing you would never want to live that way, conclude that their lives are miserable, and that they will grab at just about anything you bring them. After all, your “anything” must be better than the “something” they are eating!
- Distribute food for free. En masse. When critics say they don’t need it, point at the havoc you just created as “proof” of their neediness.
- With your excess money, give out cash for free. After all, people will only accept food for so long, and it does not look good when your “emergency food” is traded at the market for luxury items.
- Conclude that the dependency of the aid recipients is the best strategy to ensure your future growth within the business.
All this I have learned from the recent Famine Scam in Niger, and I am learning more by the day.