BBC Wrist-slapped in Niger

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2006 at 8:21 pm

I was reading this article from the BBC and then this article from Reuters which was Niger’s reaction to global reaction to the former article.

I can understand Niger’s point, in a very small way – it would be incredibly embarrassing to be “the world’s poorest country” all the time. Niger is, after all, a culturally rich place with some
beautiful landscapes and some of the nicest and most tolerant people around.

However, if the scale of the famine is what the NGO’s (Doctors without borders, CARE, UN) say it is, then the Nigerien government needs all the help it can get. Press coverage like the BBC’s is a welcome help – it gets people’s attention and gets a burst of funding to the NGO’s that need it. Modern Emergency Relief and Development, especially in a country like Niger, is apolitical and fair. The NGO’s there are doing what they can with the resources they can muster. Without coverage like the BBC’s and CNN’s (Go Anderson Cooper for his work there last summer!) Niger falls under the radar screen.

Arguably, there are a lot of places where attention needs to be drawn. Injustice anywhere is injustice for everyone. But that doesn’t mean that Niger can’t take whatever it can get.


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