Thursday, September 5, 2019

I loved the concert, but did the money do any good?

The terrible truth about Live Aid:  it was a case study in why throwing money at problems is a terrible idea

The Ethiopian dictator, Mengistu, until then deadlocked in the war, was using the money the west gave him to buy sophisticated weapons from the Russians, and was now able to efficiently and viciously crush the opposition. ...

What makes it all such a tragedy is that it was perfectly foreseeable:

Geldof was warned, repeatedly, from the outset by several relief agencies in the field about Mengistu, who was dismantling tribes, mercilessly conducting resettlement marches on which 100,000 people died, and butchering helpless people. According to Medicins Sans Frontiers, who begged Geldof to not release the money until there was a reliable infrastructure to get it to victims, he simply ignored them.


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