Writing in his diary of his erstwhile friend and wartime comrade-in-arms Randolph Churchill’s surgery for lung cancer, Evelyn Waugh noted acidly, that it was a “typical triumph of medical science to find the one part of Randoph that was not malignant and remove it.” The BBC’s recent abject apology to Bob Geldof for the claim made last March 4 on the 'Assignment' program, that the vast majority of the money raised, perhaps as much as 95 percent, during the 1984/85 Ethiopian famine by Geldof’s Band Aid concerts that went to fund relief projects in areas held by the Tigrayan rebels had in fact be
Famine and Foreigners: Ethiopia Since Live Aid By Peter Gill (Oxford University Press, 280 pp., $27.95) In the fall of 1994, James P. Grant, the executive director of UNICEF, sent a message in the name of his agency to the upcoming Cairo conference on population and development, in which he declared that the world had within its grasp the means to solve “the problems of poverty, population, and environmental degradation that feed off of one another in a downward spiral [bringing] instability and strife in its wake.” Grant was a great man, a giant of the development world.
Does the Obama administration have any idea at all what it wants out of its development efforts? In a recent speech at SAIS at Johns Hopkins, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Washington’s new six-year, $63 billion Global Health Initiative. She was at pains to differentiate the administration from its predecessor—yet one more recapitulation of a by now familiar trope, but one that is particularly disingenuous in the case of global health, where the Bush administration’s record actually was very good.