by Deniz Kellecioglu, Policy and Advocacy Economist, Africa Groups of Sweden
In a time when many people around the world worry about impacts the financial crises may sustain to the own economy, there are people who have lost almost everything they have had. The creating forces to these crises is the same, however: GREED. Greed for power and money.
Although, the consequences are very dissimilar. The very rich who created the credit bubble will get away with fat retirement schemes. Others, the general public, labour force and business will be affected by unemployment and face lower demand, resulting in lower incomes. But almost all of them in the richer countries will be more than okay, and will regain lost incomes later. In developing countries the existing middle classes will be shaken, and many will fall into poverty. This will decrease the income levels for the already poor. The result will be permanent widening inequalities and greater number of people in poverty.
For Zimbabweans, what some rich people did in a far distant part of the world, will again lay another burden on their already weakened shoulders. Many will die. Some are dying already.
This happens while countries like USA injects USD 700 billions in the financial sectors to save their capitalists and minimize the effects on the american economy. By contrast, the USA provided foreign aid for a value of USD 21,7 billions last year. Other rich countries have the similar priorities. Last year, total global aid was USD 103,7 billions. This is only about 3,7 percent of the planned bail-outs in USA and Europe today. This is without considering the quality of the aid, which is questionable in most cases.
What about bail-outs for Zimbabweans? Domestic and external elitist have created the meltdown of the country and the deepening misery of Zimbabweans. No, no bail-outs, nor compensation for Zimbabweans. Instead, a bag of targeted sanctions, while those targeted have gripped their fists harder in a bid to stay in power and wealth.
Apparently, still, there are PEOPLE and there are people…
Today, we are seeing pictures of children with kwashiorkor… in Zimbabwe, not in a war-thorn country from the 1980s… in Zimbabwe. It might not be widespread, but gives a concrete indication of where the country is, and where it will go if something is not done urgently.
The situation in Zimbabwe today is like a nightmare where you, powerless, witness the misery and slow death of a loved one.
In reality, you are not powerless. Please, find your way to be a small part of a greater change.