Do Europeans care?

Published: 07 December 2010


I came to one session expecting to get a better picture of what Europeans think about aid for developing countries. I was expecting a realistic picture; instead there was just talking.

The words were about development education, how successful it is and about how Europeans really do care about developing countries. But I didn't hear any numbers that support the claims. The only number was the €30 million spent on development education. 

But I really liked Mr. Naidu. He said we are not there yet. There is the willingness to help, but not the willingness to get to know the people that are being aided, a crucial element needed to really make development aid work. Getting to know someone, especially if he or she is from another culture, is pretty difficult and raises a lot of uncomfortable questions and situations. But as Naidu says, this is the only way to create awareness and to connect human beings, a precondition to make development aid effective.

Unfortunately he was the only one raising questions like this. All the others were too optimistic and idealistic. The panelists talked about fair trade and that people have to make a choice: Will they buy expensive fair trade products and help the developing world, or will they go for the ordinary products.

It makes me think, "Is buying fair trade coffee enough?"