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Telle est la question que soulève le dernier livre traduit en anglais de la journaliste neerlandaise Linda Polman (« The Crisis Caravan: What’s Wrong with Humanitarian Aid?

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The Crisis Caravan: What’s Wrong with Humanitarian Aid?The patients were already well cared for in their home country, it wasn’t clear that the were all really orphans and the organisers wanted $1.5 m that could be better spent in Sierra Leone itself. In focusing on aid-manipulators like these, Polman wants to raise her analysis above the level of other 21st-century war memoirs.Her core argument is not simply that the aid community includes a lot of fools and knaves.One particularly revolting passage involves the Christ End Time Movement International, a supposed « charity » set up by profiteers in Sierra Leone to scam money flying war orphans for treatment in Germany.The children « had to be amputees and no older than 18, » the chief racketeer told Polman, but the youngest was five and « really cute ».This is, she argues, partially down to the way international agencies operate.

There’s a mismatch between the amount of cash donors pump into the system and aid workers’ ability to put it to good use.

There would be a moment in which the author, having come face to face with new horrors, gazes at banal Western television in a hotel to try to escape.

A horribly ill-informed American missionary must also surely feature.

After the world failed to halt the 1994 Hutu-led genocide against the Rwandan Tutsis, there was almost nothing that outsiders would not give these refugees.

The problem was that the recipients were not the Tutsi victims of the genocide.

But humanitarian aid is big business nonetheless, employing 250,000 personnel worldwide for $16 billion a year.