I have been accused by some of not caring about the famine in the horn of Africa; I have indeed been accused of promoting euthanasia in relation to my position on it. Well I intend to lay my views out and allow others to draw whatever conclusions they want.
First the issue at hand; due to weather conditions, a lack of infrastructure and overpopulation the peoples of the horn of Africa have quite simply run out of food. This is nothing new of course, the idea that a famine suddenly erupts is a myth. Nations which slip into famine do so due to long term structural reasons. One of these structural reasons is the west give Aid first and invest latter, another is of course the having of children to provide in there old age and another is the extension of advance medical care and treatments to these areas.
I refuse to condemn these laudable and Christian pursuits or lament about the law of unintended consequences but these are the facts. Malthus laid out that any population is kept in balance with the resources it can command by sickness, war, infirmity and worse of all starvation. Due to external influence of these nation we have targeted the outward manifestations of these pressures and thus increased the population but we have done nothing to increase in command of the “necessities of life” leading inevitably to famine.
So what should the we / the west do? Well to my mind a country that slips into famine should be treated like we treat a failed economy. The IMF do not keep them just above oblivion with never ending aid payments, they force them to accept hard hitting structural changes. When a nation go bankrupt the international community steps in and sets it’s failed economic polices straight. Indeed one cannot get IMF funding without handing over economic sovereignty for some period of time.
So, who dose this apply for resource bankrupt nations? Well of course we give them short term aid but it has to come with strings. We need an International Food Fund to act like the IMF would. Forcing though the deep structural changes requited and imposing population reduction strategies these nations badly need. They need our help to reduce birth rates, increase food production and distribution and they should have it, so what I am arguing for is the end of aid and the birth of structural reform.