Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Poverty doesn't mean lack of dignity or compassion

African nations have a reputation of being overly reliant on foreign aid. This reputation is not entirely undeserved. But despite the reputation and despite the ofter overwhelming poverty at home, sometimes Africans end up as the givers.

I was interested to read this article at the IRIN news service which reported that a number of West African nations, some of the world's poorest, have donated funds to victims of the Asian tsunami.

This would be hardly surprising to those familiar with the region. I suspect any westerner who's spent any time in West Africa has had the experience of being invited to share a meal or given a bed by an African villager or city-dweller whose living conditions are exponentially more difficult and whose incomes are a mere fraction of their own.


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