Tuesday, July 05, 2005

G8 right around the corner.

In the wake of Live 8 over the weekend, we need to take a look at what we already have commited to Africa.

COPENHAGEN (Dow Jones)-[off the wire, no link]-[...]"I bring a strong record of support for countries in Africa. I think people are going to be surprised to learn about all the efforts we've made," Bush said. "I'm confident we'll have a good G8."

Specifically, Bush pointed to his commitment to spend $15 billion over five years to fight aids in Africa and his recent announcement that he will spend another $674 million on emergency food aid there.

Last week, Bush said the U.S. will spend $1.2 billion fighting malaria over the next five years. The U.S. will also spend $400 million over four years to promote better education in African countries.

Taken together and combined with other commitments the U.S. has made, Bush said the U.S. was tripling its aid to Africa.

However, he also stuck to his position that the U.S. is only interested in helping countries that undertake economic and political reforms to promote free markets and bring greater democracy into their systems.

All that plus the $40 billion in loans we waived last month. I really want to help the African people, but at what cost. Where do we draw the line?

At some point we'll have done all we can in terms of aid, then what? Are any of these nations self-sufficient enough to take care of themselves? Will any of this aid help get them to that point or will most of it be misused, abused, stolen, or laundered?