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Christine's article

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  • Weber
    Question: Who or what is the World Development Movement? I see one thing in the article that isn t really accurate. From Christine s other articles it would
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 8, 2002
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      Question:  Who or what is the World Development Movement?  I see one thing in the article that isn't really accurate.  From Christine's other articles it would seem that the IMF does admit some involvement.  They have said they advised selling a portion of the maize reserves just not ALL of them as was done.  They also admitted, as I remember, that their advice might have been a mistake based on faulty information.
       
      ************ 
       
       
      IMF Blamed for Malawi Famine

      World Development Movement (London)
      PRESS RELEASE
      October 29, 2002
      Posted to the web November 7, 2002

      ----

      The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank forced policies
      onto the Government of Malawi that were responsible for turning a food
      shortage into a famine, concludes a report released today by the World
      Development Movement (WDM). Seventy per cent of rural families faced
      starvation earlier this year, following floods in 2001.

      Malawi is experiencing a massive hunger crisis, the worst since the
      dreadful 1949 famine. It has a huge HIV/AIDS problem - one fifth of
      the population are HIV+. One third of the population are undernourished
      and well over half live on less than $1a day. One in three are illiterate.
      Malawi is an agricultural economy. Tobacco is its main export and maize is the
      staple food. IMF policies have also caused massive grain hoarding and
      speculation by private traders.

      The report details a catalogue of disastrous IMF enforced policies
      that have undermined Malawi's ability to feed its people. It blames the
      ongoing privatisation of the food production and distribution system (notably
      the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation - ADMARC), removal
      of agricultural subsides to small farmers and deregulation of price
      controls on staple foods such as maize - policies that have enabled Malawi to
      avoid famine in the past. The price of maize increased 400% between October
      2001and March 2002 as a result of these policies.

      The House of Commons International Development Committee, which last
      week returned from a fact-finding visit to Malawi, today hold their
      first evidence hearing into the famine.

      Entitled 'Structural Damage: The Causes and Consequences of Malawi's
      Food Crisis', the report also reveals evidence that the IMF, World Bank
      and EU were heavily involved in the disastrous decision to sell-off
      Malawi's grain reserves at the height of the famine, something they have
      repeatedly denied.

      Early in 2002 the Malawi Government sold almost all of its 167,000
      metric tonne grain reserve following advice from the IMF to reduce costs and
      stock levels to pay off a $300m loan from a South African Bank.
      Subsequently, in April 2002, Malawi was suspended from the Heavily
      Indebted Poor Countries Initiative over allegations of corruption
      around the sale.

      The authors also condemn international lenders for insisting that the
      heavily indebted Government of Malawi continues to make debt
      repayments to rich countries and the IMF and World Bank, despite the
      humanitarian crisis. Malawi will spend $70m, over 20% of its national
      budget, on debt repayments in 2002 - money desperately needed for
      health and education. The report calls for full cancellation of
      Malawi's debt and an end to the economic conditionality of aid donors and the IMF
      and World Bank.

      Director of the WDM, Barry Coates today condemned the IMF and World
      Bank for applying a one-size-fits-all, ultra free-market approach:
      "This is Jurassic economics, the policies of the Reagan and Thatcher era. They
      should be kept in a museum, rather than trampling all over desperately
      poor African countries." Pointing out that Gordon Brown is the chair of
      the IMF and Clare Short sits on the governing body of the World Bank. Mr
      Coates continued: "The UK bears particular responsibility because of
      our influence over these institutions."

      *****

    • Paul DEVER
      Uh...if I remember correctly, ADMARC had a huge campaign at the harvest season to buy up ALL or as much as possible of the crop at rock bottom prices, and then
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 8, 2002
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        Uh...if I remember correctly, ADMARC had a huge campaign at the harvest
        season to buy up ALL or as much as possible of the crop at rock bottom
        prices, and then sell at HIGH prices when it was needed most...

        good market practice for the person ith the money, but not for the regular
        Joe Phiri...

        Hmmm. who was in charge of admarc????? I forget....






        ----Original Message Follows----
        From: "Weber" <weber@...>
        Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
        To: <ujeni@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: [ujeni] Christine's article
        Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2002 10:10:05 -0800

        Question: Who or what is the World Development Movement? I see one thing
        in the article that isn't really accurate. From Christine's other articles
        it would seem that the IMF does admit some involvement. They have said they
        advised selling a portion of the maize reserves just not ALL of them as was
        done. They also admitted, as I remember, that their advice might have been
        a mistake based on faulty information.

        ************


        IMF Blamed for Malawi Famine

        World Development Movement (London)
        PRESS RELEASE
        October 29, 2002
        Posted to the web November 7, 2002

        ----

        The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank forced policies
        onto the Government of Malawi that were responsible for turning a food
        shortage into a famine, concludes a report released today by the World
        Development Movement (WDM). Seventy per cent of rural families faced
        starvation earlier this year, following floods in 2001.

        Malawi is experiencing a massive hunger crisis, the worst since the
        dreadful 1949 famine. It has a huge HIV/AIDS problem - one fifth of
        the population are HIV+. One third of the population are undernourished
        and well over half live on less than $1a day. One in three are illiterate.
        Malawi is an agricultural economy. Tobacco is its main export and maize is
        the
        staple food. IMF policies have also caused massive grain hoarding and
        speculation by private traders.

        The report details a catalogue of disastrous IMF enforced policies
        that have undermined Malawi's ability to feed its people. It blames the
        ongoing privatisation of the food production and distribution system
        (notably
        the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation - ADMARC), removal
        of agricultural subsides to small farmers and deregulation of price
        controls on staple foods such as maize - policies that have enabled Malawi
        to
        avoid famine in the past. The price of maize increased 400% between October
        2001and March 2002 as a result of these policies.

        The House of Commons International Development Committee, which last
        week returned from a fact-finding visit to Malawi, today hold their
        first evidence hearing into the famine.

        Entitled 'Structural Damage: The Causes and Consequences of Malawi's
        Food Crisis', the report also reveals evidence that the IMF, World Bank
        and EU were heavily involved in the disastrous decision to sell-off
        Malawi's grain reserves at the height of the famine, something they have
        repeatedly denied.

        Early in 2002 the Malawi Government sold almost all of its 167,000
        metric tonne grain reserve following advice from the IMF to reduce costs and
        stock levels to pay off a $300m loan from a South African Bank.
        Subsequently, in April 2002, Malawi was suspended from the Heavily
        Indebted Poor Countries Initiative over allegations of corruption
        around the sale.

        The authors also condemn international lenders for insisting that the
        heavily indebted Government of Malawi continues to make debt
        repayments to rich countries and the IMF and World Bank, despite the
        humanitarian crisis. Malawi will spend $70m, over 20% of its national
        budget, on debt repayments in 2002 - money desperately needed for
        health and education. The report calls for full cancellation of
        Malawi's debt and an end to the economic conditionality of aid donors and
        the IMF
        and World Bank.

        Director of the WDM, Barry Coates today condemned the IMF and World
        Bank for applying a one-size-fits-all, ultra free-market approach:
        "This is Jurassic economics, the policies of the Reagan and Thatcher era.
        They
        should be kept in a museum, rather than trampling all over desperately
        poor African countries." Pointing out that Gordon Brown is the chair of
        the IMF and Clare Short sits on the governing body of the World Bank. Mr
        Coates continued: "The UK bears particular responsibility because of
        our influence over these institutions."

        *****




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      • Weber
        Re: Christine s article Hope For Africa s Cursed Children First: Stacia since you are there, or anyone else who might know, was this hospital started by Dr.
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 4, 2003
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          Re: Christine's article Hope For Africa's "Cursed" Children

          First:  Stacia since you are there, or anyone else who might know, was this hospital started by Dr. Chris Lavy from MAP?  Just before we left (96), he was starting to talk about trying to get an orthopedic hospital set up.  At the time we were there we serial casted club feet in babies and the orthopedic clinical officers did some surgeries but only for really young kids who lived near enough to Blantyre to get to QECH regularly.  With burn adhesions...some were released whenever a volunteer plastic surgeon was available.  Really glad this has happened. 

          Second:  I am disgruntled, as is often the case, by the generalizations in this kind of azungu article....as well as the articles that make our newspapers about witches and ghost hyenas, etc.  The statements "There is a lot of stigma for children like this and it is considered a curse if anything like this happens to them. They are judged on whether they can carry a bucket of water and if they can't they are considered no good,"  are certainly still true in some communities but the article makes it sound true throughout Malawi.  These kinds of statements perpetuate the notion that Malawians are universally backward, uneducated and supersticious (even though they're credited with being "warm and friendly").  I guess it's good for generating sympathy and charity.   Oh well, maybe we RPCV's just have to keep making an effort to bring understanding back home.  Don't know if we ever wrote about the time we showed slides here and one older lady said that she was surprised at how clean Malawians looked....cleaner that we were; we didn't sweep our dirt each morning and weeds grew outside our gate!  Other times people commented on the fact that our slides of Blantyre and Harare showed Africans in western clothes...looking "smart".  Some were surprised that there were cities like Harare (can't quite say they commented with amazement about Blantyre).  Somehow the misunderstandings and generalizations seem to me to make us take Africa's problems less seriously...makes Americans less able to personally identify with Africans. That's too bad.

          Anyway, time to get off my soapbox again.  If anyone asks what retired life is like...good for the most part, but it gives one too much time to get stressfully hot-under-the-collar about either inconsequential things or things one can do nothing about.  So one just spouts off.  Tsalani bwino all.  

          Cathy

          ++++++++++++++++

          Hope for Africa's 'cursed' children
          By Jane Elliott
          BBC News Online Health Staff

          For the first two years of his life burns victim Mavuto was unable to walk.  An accident with scalding water had left the skin on one of his legs so scarred he was unable to stand. And the future looked bleak for the littleMalawian boy, whose name means problem. His injuries were not life threatening so he did not qualify for treatment at the local hospital.

          Outcast

          But in a society where a disability is considered a curse Mavuto faced life as an outcast dependent on charity. Luckily for Mavuto he was one of the first patients chosen to get operations at the newly-opened Beit Trust Cure International Hospital for children in Blantyre.

          Senior anaesthetist Nicola Canning said it was fantastic seeing the two-year-old stand up for the first time.

          "He had been a burns victim and his left leg was completely bent double. He had never stood up, not in two and a half years. We released the thickened skin around the leg and put the leg in plaster. And 48 hours later he was standing. There is a lot of stigma for children like this and it is considered a curse if anything like this happens to them. They are judged on whether they can carry a bucket of water and if they can't they are considered no good," she said.

          Nicola, who works at the Homerton Hospital, in East London, spent eight weeks holiday in the southern African state, helping set up the new orthopaedic hospital, which will serve nearly 50,000 disabled children.  Nicola said she had been astonished by what she had seen in Malawi.

          "It was amazing there was a hospital being set up so quickly. When we arrived the hospital was built, but everything for it was in
          boxes."

          Malawi is ravaged by HIV, with drought, famine, plague and drug resistant malaria. The life expectancy is just 40.

          But the new hospital, which employs the only four orthopaedic surgeons in the country, hopes to make life better for the 12 million Malawians.

          The Homerton donated two anaesthetic machines to the hospital, which was set up following charity cash.

          Future

          The first patient through the doors of the new hospital was 14-year-old Dalitso, who had no movement in one of his arms. He had fallen from a tree three years before and his arm had never been set.

          Although Dalitso will need another two operations his future now looks a lot brighter thanks to the work of Nicola and her colleagues.

          "We asked him if he was frightened of having the operation and he said no because he knew that we would make him a lot better
          and that just made me cry."

          Hope

          There are lots of children there with bow legs because of rickets and with clubs feet. Many have deformities following falls from trees.  "Without this hospital these children would not get treated because they are elective cases. Most of the children have malaria and HIV and worms and that slows down the healing process.

          "Although this new hospital was great and a centre of excellence I did also see the state hospital and I will never complain about the NHS again.

          "I fell in love with Malawi. The people have nothing, but they are warm and friendly.  I will be going back again this year in my holidays. I found it very hard to leave," she said.

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