Saturday, November 27, 2004

Can't much get education if you're dead

Some might think that the genocide in eastern Sudan, isn't attracting enough attention. But in a column for Kenya's Daily Nation, Peter Mwaura suggests that Darfur is attracting TOO MUCH attention.

Southern Sudan merits the greatest attention of the Security Council and the donor community in terms of post-war reconstruction and rehabilitation if peace in Sudan is going to be meaningful.

He writes of how southern Sudan needs a big investment in infrastructure like roads, bridges and schools, to say nothing of helping resettle refugees.

For the period between April and December this year, Darfur has (comparatively) attracted confirmed contributions of $178 million and has only a shortfall of 13 per cent while for the same period southern Sudan has attracted only $368 million and has a shortfall of 35 per cent according figures provided by the World Food Programme.

He concludes that Darfur is the darling of the donor community.

While it's undeniable that in those rare occasions when the international community focuses its spotlight on Africa, it's almost always on the worst crises. More mundane, but hugely important, measures like post-war reconstruction almost always get short shrift.

Still though, I can't fault the Security Council's focus on trying to stop the genocide in Darfur. You can't much education if you're already dead.

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