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Tuesday, September 8

Most Syrians now fleeing to Europe aren't from Syria. They're from refugee camps.

When dialing for dollars no longer works 

"But this is a problem for the International Community and development banks and aid donors of all stripes, when everyone is crying, 'Help!' at the same time."
--  Pundita, March 2015

"Now, the humanitarian effort is failing, too, ground down by dwindling interest, falling donations and spiraling needs. The United Nations has received less than half the amount it said was needed to care for the refugees over the past four years. Aid is being cut and programs are being suspended at the very moment when those who left Syria in haste, expecting they soon would go home, are running out of savings and wearing out the welcome they initially received."

-- The Washington Post, August 2015

"The UN’s humanitarian agencies are on the verge of bankruptcy and unable to meet the basic needs of millions of people because of the size of the refugee crisis in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, senior figures within the UN have told the Guardian. The deteriorating conditions in Lebanon and Jordan, particularly the lack of food and healthcare, have become intolerable for many of the 4 million people who have fled Syria, driving fresh waves of refugees north-west towards Europe and aggravating the current crisis."
-- The Guardian, September 6, 2015

The harbinger was the drought crisis in Sahel in 2012. Listen as a worker for the International Red Cross complains to an Al Jazeera reporter on scene that donors like a "sexy" humanitarian crisis and explains, "Unless you have the dying children, the big donors don't pay attention."


I'm wondering if this is the same International Red Cross that over years plugged hundreds of millions, if not billions, of donor dollars and euros into helping Hamas conduct war against Israel from Gaza.  But those were still the salad days, when nobody believed the international humanitarian aid spigot could suddenly run dry.

To be fair to the Red Cross and UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) and scores of other humanitarian aid organizations including the Red Crescent, they've been doing the heavy lifting in keeping hundreds of thousands of people in the Sahel alive through droughts that have been hitting the region with increasingly frequency and intensity. Seemingly overnight and out of nowhere, they activate feeding station networks across the 12 countries in the Sahel (9 countries by some reckonings). The little-told story is an absolutely amazing feat of logistics, as you can see from Al Jazeera's crash course.

It's a feat that chews up astronomical amounts of donation money. That's in part because the aid agencies can't preempt the crisis, even though they know exactly how it will happen.  They have to wait until the crisis is "sexy" to attract enough donations to set up the feeding stations; i.e., after the drought is so bad the farmers have eaten the seeds for the next planting and then are starving to death.     

There was something else the international aid community couldn't imagine even a decade ago: the collapse of Worldbankia Civilization, which by the late 1980s had become the dominant civilization in the world.  As with many other large civilizations, the collapse hasn't been sudden, but rather a slow unraveling due to several causes and conditions. All these, however, have been converging with conditions that drove millions of Syrians into refugee camps across the Middle East.

From all the above, are aid agencies and ngos working with international smuggling networks to funnel refugees to Europe, on the theory that if the donors won't come to them in sufficient numbers, they'll ship the problem to the donor nations and let the taxpayers there shoulder the burden?

I haven't yet seen clear evidence of this particular kind of collusion, although there is anecdotal evidence that suggests at least some Gulf Arab governments, notably Qatar's, are encouraging if not outright organizing movements of Middle Eastern Muslim refugees to Europe.  

Yet if the collusion is not already happening it's only a matter of time, as a suddenly changed world crashes in on the international aid community.

Why didn't they see it coming? Long story but the huge globe-spanning remittances industry that rose up about a decade ago masked the unraveling of Worldbankia.  By the time they realized what had happened, it was too late.

As with every other civilization Worldbankia is deeply flawed in many respects, but as with every other civilization, it became a way of life. There's nothing to replace it at this time.  Nothing except the rise of the generals.

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