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The Spoils of Humanitarianism

Karl Maier: Feeding off Famine, 19 February 1998

Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa 
by Alex de Waal.
James Currey/Indiana, 238 pp., £40, October 1997, 0 85255 811 2
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The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity 
by Michael Maren.
Free Press, 302 pp., $25, January 1997, 0 684 82800 6
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... by the consequences of such assistance. The North Korean scenario is familiar. Critics of what Michael Ignatieff has described as ‘a vast, unruly humanitarian bazaar,’ are quick to point out that money is one of North Korea’s main attractions for relief agencies. Famine is a ‘growth opportunity’, ...

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