It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote: “is there hope for the most vulnerable citizens on planet earth?” Today’s political maneuver of the Moderate Party and our Foreign Aid minister Gunilla Carlsson to leave the minimum of 1% GPN (BNP) for Foreign Aid and to go a “steady 0.7%” foundational aid level confirms the attitude that (as I wrote in an earlier blog at the beginning of this economic crisis) we only share some of the crumbs of our tables as long as we have abundance!
Not unusual to politicians they try to describe how this new approach and praxis will actually benefit the countries, systems and people on the “receiving end” of the aid. At the same time they want to have the freedom to redefine what Aid is to be and to whom it is to be given. A potential partner is named which does not comply with the terms of traditional Aid receptors namely Russia. (This nation is to be considered because of democratic development reasons).
Another area is mentioned defending why our Aid can be reduced; “quality control”… Aid should be used in an efficient and result guaranteed way… Well, that has been the slogan of the Moderate Party all along as it has thrown itself since its ruling days in the sales (and thus the break-down) of a number of services locally (I live in Stockholm) and nationally. Do we have better, more efficient and result guaranteed services as a result of their political agenda? Some will say “Yes”, while many others will tell you have things have gotten worse.
I know that there are many examples of projects gone sour. I know that organizations (also Swedish ones) have misused the Aid given and redirected funds. I know that there are many reports that question the long-term results and lack of political, organizational, system and economic changes needed to bring about true change in a people group, geographic area or nation.
BUT, isn’t Aid also meant to soften human suffering, to bring hope to individuals and groups of people who are most vulnerable and exposed for one or another reason? As usual, the exposed and vulnerable people in our world will be the first (and often) the only true victim of the kind of politics we endorse. Somehow many of us in the West seem to be able to avoid having to live with the disastrous, life threatening consequences of a world gone mad!
In times like these when crisis occurs, also opportunity knocks at the door! At such moments we have an opportunity to show our true face… are we lead by the impulse of GREED or will we allow true humanity to motivate our thinking and actions?
Let Sweden show its real face…
That’s the Way I see it!