Call me a cynic, but has anyone ever thought seriously about what business UN is in? Aid, right?
According to Lord Peter Bauer, aid is nothing more than government to government transfer. Now UN acts as a bureaucracy between the government that is giving the money and the one that is receiving the aid. As the money does not come out of UN's own pocket, what incentive is there for bureaucrats to ensure it is put to good use?
That is why one should not be surprised when the money is being used to prop up dictators, yes you hear me right, dictators!
According to a story in NYT (18th November), the Zambabwean government has accepted UN's offer to build 2,500 houses to alleviate its housing shortage. Now why is there a housing shortage in the first place?
It turns out that the government of President Robert Mugabe has initiated a demolition campaign with the stated objective of clearing illegal structures from urban areas. The real objective of the campaign is, according to Zimbabwean civic groups, "an effort to disperse the urban poor who present possibly the greatest threat to Mr. Mugabe's 25-year rule."
In other words, by offering to build new houses for Zimbabwe, presumably away from the city, the UN is in fact helping to perpetuate the rule of Robert Mugabe the dictator.