Does Helping Really Help?

The West's dilemma: aid to the starving may benefit those who made them starve

Am I my brother's keeper? God answered Cain's evasive question by putting him under an eternal curse, and so the traditional answer has been a cautious affirmative. But what if my brother already has a keeper, one who has a gun and who claims the right to decide whether my brother will get any of the food I send him?

That is more or less the question that bedevils Western officials as they face the horrors of another famine in the Ethiopia of Lieut. Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam. All too clear in the public memory are those televised pictures from 1984-85...

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