Oxfam seem to believe that pictures of starving Africans are counterproductive to bringing to an end hunger on that continent. Which seems to be discounting the fact that we’re in a recession and don’t have as much cash in our pockets as well.
The negative portrayal of Africa in the eyes of the British public is undermining efforts to bring an end to hunger on the continent, Oxfam has said.
The aid agency said that three-fifths of people questioned said they have become desensitised to images depicting issues such as hunger, drought and disease.
Although nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents thought it was ultimately possible to bring an end to hunger across the continent, only one in five believed they could play an active role in this.
When asked to select what they thought were the three most pressing problems facing Africa over the next year, almost half (47%) of the more than 2,000 people surveyed by YouGov identified hunger.
Over-exposure to negative media and advertising portrayals of Africa and developing countries in other parts of the world was described as “depressing, manipulative and hopeless” by respondents.
And almost half (43%) said it made them feel that conditions for people living in the developing world would never improve.
In response, Oxfam is launching a new campaign to try to refocus public support for the cause.
Actually one of the most pressing reasons for the decline in people giving a damn about Africa is that most people know that the money they give in aid doesn’t actually reach the people who need it. Kleptocratic dictatorships siphon off aid by the thousands of pounds, corruption is endemic and simply giving food only seems to destroy the infrastructure and make people dependent on aid rather than seeking to find their own ways out of their problems.
There’s also the issue that Oxfam itself appears to be doing good for its top people by doing so called good…
|Charity||Chief executive||Latest salary in £s (plus benefits but excluding pensions)||Salary in £s for the previous year||Pay rise (%)||Income £m||Amount in £s spent on chief exec’s pay for every £1,000 of income|
£75,000 could buy an awful lot in aid now couldn’t it?
Oxfam are far from unique, though at the lower end of the scale, you can read up on just who is getting what on the Guardian site and it seems that our so called top charities are creaming off the money we pay in to keep their executives feather bedded at our expense.
So no, I don’t think that the constant pictures of starving Africans are counterproductive in and of themselves, I rather think that charities might need to look at what they pay themselves plus just how much in real aid as in not feeding the starving but helping them to feed themselves might just help.
As it is, I’m still the biggest fan of charity beginning at home…