It’s been a week or two that I wanted to pay some attention to the drought in the Horn of Africa. Of course you already know by now except if our newsletter is your only means of accessing info in this hyper connected world, which is highly unlikely. For me the fact that millions of people don’t get enough food to survive is an obvious sign of failure of global politics. So reading through the news about the situation there you see lot’s of comments going in this direction like John Vidal in the Guardian who argues that it’s a predictable man made disaster. It’s predictable because it’s recurring and there hasn’t been rain in month there so we knew there wouldn’t be much to feed the cattle and the humans. I cannot disagree. The early warning system did function but there is no one out there to listen says the Globe and mail. Even worth, now that the situation is on the global scene, US commits 28 millions on additional aid but USAID still has to work around its administrative procedures. Or is this just a pretext? UN are sending airplanes while they could have shipped the food months ago for a tenth of the price. But the money wasn’t there. Silly world.
Following the global health community for months now, I would say that EU is quite absent there despite the Global Health communication and my modest effort to raise it recently. This might come from the troubles Ashton has in carving her seat. At least DG Trade doesn’t wait anyone to push their views on Intellectual Property rights in so called “free trade agreements” as they recently confirmed. It looks like Cameron wants to take the lead in developing trade relations with Africa above or instead of development. It is true that Africa despite it’s poverty has a growing market and that’s what our growth based society need isn’t it. Good news for my friends in Niger, the EC decided to resume its aid after the return of democracy. Those who know the history of Niger a little bit have guessed it from the time the military entered the presidential house.
And to finish this editorial, you might notice something changed in the layout of the newsletter this week. Due to the tremendous success of the newsletter – we almost have 2000 subscribers now – we had to move to some more serious system to handle the letter. Hence you can now invite people to register themselves directly in English or in French. There is also an option to subscribe to our Health Systems Monthly Alert Newsletter. There won’t be any attached document anymore but still we found a way to provide one click download at the bottom of the document. Don’t hesitate to write to us if you get troubles downloading any article that interest you. The archive and the comments are still at the same place: http://www.itg.be/ihp.
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David Hercot, Kristof Decoster, Josefien Van Olmen, Basile Keugoung & Wim Van Damme