Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Phantom Aid and Blood Minerals.

So I’ve been learning a LOT in class so far, and one of the things I’m starting to get the hang of it essay writing. I hate essay writing, I hate looking for references and I hate trying to think of my own argument but then to make it sound legitimate by backing it up with someone else’s quotes. Fun stuff really.

But I digress, the point of this post isn’t to bore you on all the details of my new adventures into academic writing, or to tell how well I’ve been doing in my marks so far (except sociology, but really, it’s sociology).

One of the main things that has been coming out of my classes, sort of like a theme running, is the inequality of health around the world and even in our backyards.

The life expectancy rate of an aboriginal is shockingly low compared to that of a Caucasian, as well as that of rural dwellers to city dwellers.

There is a 31 per cent increase in C-section births in 2007 than compared to 18 per cent from 1991.

Citizens of Africa can expect to live at least 40 years less than that of Americans or Australia.

Russia’s life expectancy has decreased by 11 years since the end of the USSR.

The question we are asked about this is why? Why are all these things happening in society today where health is so well known about, preventative measures are so well thought out.

About three-quarters of deaths under the age of 75 are considered preventable!

And chlamydia rates are rising!!!

No seriously go look up that statistic. In this day and age, where sex education is told throughout schools, safe sex is advocated everywhere you look, adults aren’t pretending like there kids aren’t having sex, so they give them the information for them to have safe sex. So why are STI’s on the rise!!

Some things baffle me, but some things sadden and hurt me deeply.

Blood minerals and phantom aid, has anyone heard of these?

If you’ve seen the movie blood diamond you already have a glimpse of what blood minerals are, take for example the mines in the Congo, have hundreds of workers being beaten and rapped on a daily basis, and all to extract minerals from the earth and rocks.

I’m not naïve, the minerals they are finding, are the ones they use in this here laptop and my mobile phone, minerals that I don’t even realise are in my computer, and that someone somewhere half way across the globe is beaten so that I can have my laptop.

It’s horrible and it makes me sick.

Phantom aid is another topic we learnt about today, in sociology actually, what I thought would be a boring topic turns out to be pretty interesting.

Now if you don’t know what Phantom Aid is, it is where the countries that gives aid, such as America, Britain, Australia and Canada, give aid to countries that are having difficulties, such as a natural disaster where they are unable to help themselves, these countries give them money. But there’s a catch. Like there always is with money.

If America gives money for aid assistance, they will stipulate that they can only use food grown by American farmers, and only if they use America shipping containers, to get them there. So in effect, what America is doing by giving this money to poorer countries, putting these restrictions on it, they are basically using their own money to fund their own economy. These countries also then have to pay the higher pay rates for American produce and carriers, so more of their aid money is taken up by this when they could put this money in to their own economy, to create jobs in their own country, save some money on the cost of food, and maybe be able to put some into medicine, education, better infrastructure, and all these types of things, but they can’t because they are having to buy more expensive food.

Or for example, when a country pledges money to another country and says, we will help you build this dam, only if you use our consultants and our builders and constructors. So effectively, half the aid money that is pledged never actually leaves the country.

This kind of aid needs to stop, and I’m quite happy to say that Australia has become stipulation free in its aid giving. But it is still very prevalent in other countries and I encourage you to go research it if you don’t already know!

Why have I never heard of phantom aid? In a world with fast news and thorough in depth investigations like all the advertisement says, why do I not know about the people suffering for the things I use!

Here is a clip we watched at school today it is a bit sad but what makes us sad, is what people are living through. I think we can take the time out of our busy lives to pray, to think of, and maybe even see what difference we can do on our side of the world. Because nothing will change if someone doesn’t take the first step!

Congo: Blood, gold and mobile phones

I know it a bits late but I'm linking up with Jess for 


  1. Excellent post Kate. I'd never heard of phantom aid either. Everything you're learning at uni sounds very interesting, I think you need to start writing me summaries and bringing them home with you when you come up so I can read them!

    P.S. I got your text, I just haven't had a chance to reply and I'm about to go to bed. We don't have family night tomorrow so I will try to remember to email you then.

    1. I should! One of my topics for sociology is why we are funding so many indigenous to close the gap of health statistics, and why nothing is happening, it's really interesting because it's all applicable! I sure will, I should post you my lecture slides so you can have a look, sociology slides are good as in every slide to posts a relevant youtube video of something thats happened, either past or presently, thats applicable to topic she is talking about. Really good!!!

      Theres actually a youtube video about with an interview of a lady who actually wrote a paper on phantom aid, ill post it on fb so you can see it!

  2. Reading this made my stomach churn. No one helps anyone any more unless there's something in it for them, or there's a catch. I know people in Australia get all up in arms over financial aid for other countries "when there's people in Australia who need help!" I think people truly don't understand how bad it is in other parts of the world and how completely spoiled we are here in our beautiful country. What a great post! Very eye opening and thought provoking, thank you! -Aroha (#teamIBOT)

    1. We are incredibly lucky here! The Congo should be one of the richest countries in the world because of all the natural and rare sources they have! Yet they aren't!!! Very eye opening, sometimes we have to just give because that's all you can do!

  3. Never heard of it and I'm quite appalled. Though not all that surpised with the US, cause there economy is terrible.

    1. Very true, I'd heard about blood minerals but not phantom aid, hopefully it can change some day!


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