Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?

Ethiopia experienced famine in the mid-1980s. Artists Bob Geldof (of “Live Aid”) and Midge Ure (of… Ultravox), penned this fundraising anthem. Rock royalty of the time came around to sing the lyrics.

It is an interesting debate as to what causes famine. We’d quickly go to environmental causes, such as drought, but are people to blame (overpopulation), and/or governments through policy? Too, many deaths in Ethiopia around this time were related to human rights abuses, not starvation.

And then, what happens to the foreign assistance such as from Band Aid? A great portion of the donations went to food that rotted, and funds also went to weapons for a group seeking to overthrow the Ethiopian government of the day. This was very disappointing. Yet Band Aid still had an unintended consequence of highlighting to citizens of the world the need to evaluate foreign aid’s methods and efficacy.


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