Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Aid, "terrorism", politics and free markets

The site of al akhbar is still down after having been hacked following its release of wikileaks. But you can access a pdf version here http://akhbarbeirut.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/all_41212010.pdf

There are many excellent articles these days, but two entries attracted my attention today as they relate strongly to what I write on this blog. The first article by Bassam al Kuntar, on page 8, accompanied by a terrible photo of Frances Guy the British ambassador in Lebanon (who is a very nice lady and a great runner) is about a seminar organized by the Arab NGOs Network on the relationship between aid and "security"(what's that?) after 9/11. There were 3 speakers from LSE and Sussex. "Aid has always been linked to politics", "citizenship, democracy and accountability" are key words to be able to obtain funding. Among the recommendations of the seminar: the need for a broad study on the relationship between aid and the political dynamics of the post 2005 era, and the impact of the US definition of "terrorism" on aid in the zones of influence of Hizbullah. Nothing new of course, but it is a bit like wikileaks: we knew this is how it works, but it's nice to get a confirmation.

On page 12 we learn that USAID promotes the opening of markets and accession to WTO in Lebanon.

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