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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Saving Children

UNESCO has been congratulating its supportive countries - and itself - on how many thousands of children's lives have been saved in recent years; and at the same time their report deplores the daily toll of child deaths that disfigures the global statistics. The means for saving the lives that are continuing has been "well-targeted aid"; which implies more self-congratulation for the staff.

Most of those who have been saved, and most of those who have died despite the flow of aid, were born in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The downside of this wonderful story is that there is no way of assuring that these people will survive to adulthood; or that they will survive a normal lifetime as adults; or they will procreate the next generation responsibly. There is no guarantee that their lives will not be blighted by warlordism, civil war, extortion or racketeering [whether or not it is disguised as militant trade unionism]; or that they will develop a culture of idleness, alcohol and drug dependency in preference to gainful conscientious employment.

A superficially heart-warming story boils down to a sequence of concerns for the future. All that is assured is that in consequence of the "well-targeted aid" there will be more people will be exposed to these difficult issues than would have been the case without the intervention: consequently more children can be conceived only to die in 2032 than otherwise might have been the case. One does not need to be a Malthusian to recognise the grim logic that follows on from the 'success story' that has been pumped around the world over the past thirty hours. It is an ongoing item of the Agenda for Life that nobody can ignore.

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