Monday, July 04, 2005

Live 8 - The dust settles.

A peak audience of 9.6m viewers watched the Live 8 coverage from the BBC over the weekend. With concerts held all over the world, the press reported it as an event which has changed the world, I agree totally however I wonder who's world will change the most?

Record sales for certain artists have already increased by about 1200% and although it's great that so many supported the cause, I personally don't think we should forget that the artists will undoubtedly profit from the event but maybe that's only fair?

I'm also slightly concerned that people may now think that after such a 'world changing' event that there's little more for us all to do. We could easily be excused, after listening to some, for thinking that the problem is now solved. After all, the world has pulled together and raised so much money. Surely it can't be long before the African problem is off the agenda completely? Well lets not be too hasty!

I think its great that so much money has been raised, by whatever means, but I also think that we need to follow that up with actual manpower to deliver aid, teaching and training and I worry that some of the charities which currently do this could now see a massive decrease in giving following such a 'successful' project like live 8. Yes Live 8 could actually cause some problems for small localised charity work in African countries.

And now I turn my attention, in this blog to G8. It's impressive to see my country taking such a lead in trying to create something of substance at this meeting of the richest 8 nations on the planet. I can't help thinking though that just like the 1200% pop-stars, some leaders may look for a public boost on the back of the great news that 'debts are to be cancelled' Now I may be a little cynical here but once again, I think that its far too simple to think that such a gesture will make much difference to the lives of ordinary people from the poorest African nations.

These countries could NEVER repay their debts anyway, so not much benefit there and I've yet to hear any announcement that these countries will not borrow again? So if they don't where do they get the money that they need? If they do borrow again, won't we end up in the same position again?

It seems to me, a casual observer, that such schemes as both Live 8 and G8 achieve more for the countries instigating the projects than the countries that may benefit.

I'd have to urge the Live 8 money to be spent wisely on project work which is sustainable and long term, and lets hope we don't fall into the same Tsunami problem where there was so much money but not enough workers and projects to spend it on.

And for G8, great to cancel the debt but how can we help these nations sustain and grow for themselves so that the problem doesn't re-appear?

that's my word on the matter...

No comments: