Thursday, March 02, 2006

Aid to Palestine for deficit vs. Aid to DR Congo for internally displaced and refugees

I know, I know, you will probably all think that I am comparing apples to oranges, which I do not deny. But I can't help but note the discrepancy between the European Union offering $144 million to prevent the potential 'financial collapse of the Palestinian Authority within two weeks' (link requires login) and the $16 million that UN agencies 'drummed up' for the 'more than 80,000 [displaced] people in the eastern Katanga and North Kivu provinces, with most of those displaced living in dire conditions at camps without adequate food or health supplies' and for those returning from among the 420,000 Congolese currently living in nine neighboring countries.

And, to compare apples to apples, from the first link comes this information: "Of the $144 million the Europeans pledged on Monday, about $47.4 million will pay energy bills that the Palestinians owe Israeli companies, $75.9 million will be channeled through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees and $20.7 million is cash — direct budget support to help pay salaries."

So, $75.9 million goes for Palestinian refugees. But $16 million goes for Congolese displaced/refugees.

To put this in perspective, I checked out the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which claims that there were an estimated 4,283,892 Palestinian refugees as of June 2005.

According to the DR Congo article above, there are an estimated 420,000 refugees and 1.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), so roughly 2.1 million people who need assistance, or half of the number of Palestinian refugees.

So, my logic, I know, comparing apples to oranges, says that there should be at least $38 million made available to help the DR Congo refugees and IDPs, of which only $24 million was requested and $16 million secured.

Also, I can only imagine what feats might be accomplished if government salaries were subsidized in DR Congo.

x-posted to Adventures of a Retired Armchair Traveler


Michoko said...

Ali, Ali, Ali ... toi aussi, pourquoi tu fais du mauvais esprit lol ?

TheMalau said...

Fiso, Fiso, Fiso... mais je n'ai pas ecrit cet article, il vient de Congogirl!

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