"One of the most striking examples offered by Ms. Polman, and discussed in a lengthyNew Yorkerreview of the book, is Sierra Leone. Ms. Polman suggests that rebels escalated their attacks during the country’s civil war of the 1990s, cutting off people’s limbs by the thousands, in part because they knew those atrocities would draw attention and money from donors seeking to help in a way that other kinds of violence would not.
After the war, a new economy was created around all that international aid. People found jobs with the nonprofit organizations that flooded the country. So many charities were interested in helping amputees that it grew to a point where people who had lost limbs had piles of prostheses but still “went around with their stubs exposed to satisfy the demands of the press and NGO photographers, who brought yet more money and more aid,” Philip Gourevitch writes in his New Yorker review. He continues: “Officers of the new Sierra Leone government had only to put out a hand to catch some of the cascading aid money.”"