The horror that has in recent months re-engulfed the region along the Rwanda-Burundi-Zaire (RBZ) border ought to be an icy splash in the face of advocates of early warning systems for humanitarian emergencies. Why? Because even though the idea of an early warning system seems to have been widely accepted as conceptually sound, early warning data about the RBZ crisis has been largely ignored.
Very broadly speaking, there are two schools of thought when it comes to foreign aid; the crusaders and the infidels. The crusaders hold that the United States and other economically advanced nations — the collective West — spend much too little helping poor nations overcome their poverty. The infidels maintain exactly the opposite; i.e., that the West spends too much. Which school has it right? Paradoxically, they both do.
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