May 19, 2005
The least surprising story of the day? Zimbabwe needs food aid. Perhaps a tiny bit surprising as they seem to have finally admitted it. I did note two things about the UN.
1)Yet Mr Mugabe still refused to ask for food aid. It took a personal intervention from Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, before he agreed to yesterday's U-turn.
2)Mr Mugabe's request for help comes very late. The WFP has already planned its food distribution in southern Africa for 2005, having been assured by Mr Mugabe that Zimbabwe did not need help.
Perhaps I’m being unkind (what, Tim? Unkind? Never!) but it does seem a little odd that an organisation whose head is insisting that a country needs food aid does not actually incorporate that food aid into its plans. Further, even a blind man could see that Zimbabwe would need such aid but they simply took Mugabe’s word for it?
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I strongly object to my money (extorted from me, then wasted through the UN) being used to prop up the Mugabe regime.
No property rights, no aid.
Posted by: Rob Read | May 19, 2005 12:41:16 PM
I suppose that if your choices are limited to questioning the man and the guarantee of excruciating pain or taking his word for it and *maybe* not suffering (then again, maybe - Bob likes to keep everyone on their toes), I'd probably choose the latter also.
Posted by: Agammamon | May 19, 2005 12:42:57 PM
You are being unkind. The article does not actually say that the WFP has planned on the basis of Zimbabwe not needing food. Also, it's intrinsically silly to claim that the WFP would make unchangeable plans for what it was going to do for the whole of 2005 before the harvests were even in. The WFP is capable of shifting lots of food at short notice if it has to; that's how it responds to emergencies like the famine it averted in the same region in 2002. I don't know why the Telegraph has made this funny claim and I'd take care in basing anything of importance on it.
Posted by: dsquared | May 19, 2005 1:36:23 PM