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6 août 2005 | Imprimer cette page

THEORY AND REALITY

par Danielle Beaugendre

Traduction : Christophe Roux
From 6 till 8 July was held in Scotland, in Gleneeagles, the meeting of
the masters of the world, that of 8 countries the richest in the planet,
G8 [1]. The United Kingdom, which takes in 2005 the swivel presidency of
G8, made the conflict against poverty in Africa its preference.

Seven state leaders from african governments [2] participated in
cogitation otherwise in decisions. While G8 held the cape, resistant to
the raging storm by terrorist attacks in London, the world, force-fed
with information and with astounding events, discovers with a peculiar
delay that Niger dies from hunger.

Lack of thought ? Indifference ? Indecency ?

- In Africa, a famine never falls of the sky.

They are most often caused by the man : wars, unprompted displacements of
populations or instrumentalised by leaders without scruples, abandonment
of cultures, mismanagement of the thresholds of crisis.

The food scarceness which strikes Niger nowadays takes at both after the
sky and after men. Most extremely, it was forecast ! From October, 2004,
ONG and (worldwide PAM food Program) announced it as crop already
reduced by dryness then devastated by the clouds of desert locust [3].
The international community did not move, and authorities of Niger
deferred themselves distributing free grain proposed by the
humanitarian, fearing of a collapse of local prices but favouring the
stocking and speculation.

July, 2005 : it appears that 3,5 million persons, the quarter of the population of Niger, suffer from food scarceness ! ONG Mdecins Sans Frontires (MSF), which however multiplied alarms, reports the indifference of the rich countries, while noticing in its centres an
average 10 - 15 deceases a week among the starving children. In certain zones of this Sahelian country, the peasants are there reduced to dig subterranean termite nests in the hope of gathering mil grains stocked by insects, or trying to survive by eating leaves, wild fruits,sometimes toxic.

- During this time...

The world goes on : the dreadful was tsunami and the other thorough wave, that of planetary generosity, eclipse silent disasters, those who anaesthetize public opinion instead of alerting it [4]. Then the
European crisis, followed by a franco-French crisis, opened by of the French reject of constitution, and the Olympic Games of... 2012 allocated in London and not in Paris, finally so announced G8, and the conflict of which against poverty in Africa must be the main motor.

July 3rd and 4th : in part the world, finally that of the North, one and a half million audience attended the 10 concerts of " Live 8 " given, from Tokyo to London and Philadelphia, Madrid and Paris, by the biggest rockstars, of Bono and U2 in Bjork by way of Paul Mac Cartney, Pink Floyd, The Cure, etc.... They do not know if Bill Gates sang, but he was also there. Purpose : lobby on G8, in the name of Africa.

JPEG - 54.8 ko
The Live8

" Live 8 " is to inscribe in the anthology of the operations of
"communication", but fact is there : pictures come from Niger which
overlap are there finally eloquent. The gaping chasm which opened
between hard reality from the life and the promises of the masters of
the world became unbearable.

Bjork in Tokyo

On July 7th, the bombs of the terrorists plunge into mourning London and
disgust the whole world. Is the crisis in Niger again going to pass to
the hatch ? No, mass media and public opinion are on the alert.

- Everything rushes then

In ten days, United Nations accepted more donations for Niger than
during the past ten months : 2,8 million dollars in a week.

JPEG - 37.6 ko
29 Juillet 2005
A French minister in Tahoua

The European Union releases 3,8 million euro, France, 1,5 million euro.
His minister of Foreign Affairs in person [5] diverts his road to come
to Niger, to Tahoua, on this July 29th. He delays 1,7 tonnes of
medicaments to the hospital of the city, under the control of MSF, among
which antibiotics and salts of rehydration.

PAM, (worldwide food Program), plans to distribute 4000 tonnes of urgent
rations, in a week, in the most affected populations. Several air
rotations will be organized since Brindisi (Italy) and Abidjan (Ivory
Coast). Trucks will also bring supplies since Lom (Togo). It was time.

Because they too much deferred, dramas still are to come, especially
among the children, but situation does not deteriorate any more : in
spite of patients’ afluence which does not short up, soignantes teams
estimate the chances of healing at 90 %.

- G8 : a well-known rhetoric.

It did not innovate.

Having confirmed the cancellation of the debt of the most in-debt 18
countries, among which 14 African countries, (Niger is part of it), the
rich countries were called, one more time to fill their public help to
25 billion dollar development (APD) by 2010, then to treble it by 2015.

- The answer of altermondialistes did not defer :

Africa needs help ? Remain to know which. In form of money, surely, and
the advanced sums of money represent very little for the rich countries.
If they do not get lost in sands, as reported from the WMF for the
recent years.

- The cancellation of debt ? " a joke for naive " retorts Mrs Barry
Aminata Tour [6] , organizer of the " Forum of the people " at Fana in
Mali. The sum of cancelled debt represents only 2 % of the foreign
debt of developing countries she points out. And if Africa totals 230
billion dollars of debt, the service of debt costs him every year 12
billion dollars.. But this is another history, on which it is planned to
come back.

- Conclusion

To "think " on help to Africa in terms of macroeconomics and of
geopolitical interests, does not exclude to be interested in his
inhabitants.

To be interested in Niger ? Of course ! He is the 3rd worldwide producer
of uranium [7] ! The human beings ? Without a bet in media light, no one
looks at them.

M.Egeland, [8] complains, on the occasion of the reform of the
Organization of United Nations, the creation of a provided urgent
central Fund about 500 million dollars.

It would not be even more necessary to shout (in this case sing) to
mobilize attention. the murder attempts of Charm el Sheikh took place
ten days later : this " media window " was of benefit in Niger.

- In the sources of this cogitation :

From articles of press :

- "La famine au Niger, catastrophe annoncée mais oubliée", Philippe
Bernard, Le Monde, edition from 07/15/05.

- "Une anneé d’atermoiements" by P.Delbecq, Libération, 07/27/05.

- "Une famine aux racines endémiques", by T. Hofnung, Libération July,
the 27, 2005

- "La communauté internationale se mobilise en faveur du Niger", by
Corinne Lesnes, Le Monde, edition from 07/24/05.

- "L’indécence des pays riches" by Patrick Sabatier, Libération,
07/27/05.

- "Au Niger une crise alimentaire sans précédent frappe des dizaines de
milliers d’enfants" by Robert Belleret, special correspondant in Tahoua,
Le Monde, edition from 07/31/05.

About G8  :

- "Aider l’Afrique" editoiral of Le Monde, 07/04/05.

- "Le monde se mobilise pour faire sortir l’Afrique de la pauvreté" by
JP Tuquoi, Le Monde, edition from 07/06/05.

- "Les pays riches ont pris l’habitude de faire de gentils communiqués
sans passer aux actes", talkings with Jeffrey Sachs, special advicer of
UNO general secretary for "les Objectifs du Millnaire". Le Monde,
01/17/05.

Web sites  :

Le blogdu Monde

On an unknown event : Forum de Fana


[1USA, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Japon, Russia

[2South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Algeria.

[3Aedev, editorial of september 2004

[4Aedev, edotorial of January 2005

[5Mister Douste-Blazy, then in tour in west Africa

[6chairwoman of the Alliance of Alternatives Debt and Development for
Mali (CAD - MALI)

[7The mines are in the hands of AREVA, the french nuclear company

[8Under Secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator in UNO