It’s entirely true that Lebanon has not been well run in recent decades. It’s actually an object warning in allowing a place to be run by quota and apportionment. When the Druze are this portion of the populace, the Maronites that, this flavour of Islam this other number and that spice of Muslims some other and political power must be divided in that manner and proportion then – well, little warning about insisting that Black African Britons must have this portion, Celts that and so on.
We’re all in this together otherwise the system just doesn’t work – vide Lebanon.
However, we should applaud the ambition here even as we observe that grifters gonna grift:
In Lebanon, the critical contributions of local groups to humanitarian action were clear well before Beirut’s port burst into flames. Grassroots organisations have played a vital role in our country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including sharing health information with LGBTQ+ people, refugees, migrant workers, and other marginalised populations. When we recorded a rise in cases of domestic violence during the lockdown, feminist groups stepped in to provide protection and psychosocial services for survivors.
Local groups were also here during Lebanon’s October revolution, in support of the thousands of people who poured on to the streets to protest against decades of government corruption and economic mismanagement. And before that, it was local groups that helped people during Lebanon’s civil war from 1975 to 1990. Simply put: in every crisis, local organisations have been there – long before foreign humanitarians arrived, and long after they left.
All rather Burkean and therefore correct. Of course it’s the little platoons on the ground that build society and make it work. Those heavy battalions of the international agencies just suck all the cash back into the pensions for those people in nice air conditioned offices in New York.
It’s this bit that’s truly fun though:
Donors have pledged nearly $400m (£300m) in response to the Beirut explosion, though primarily to UN agencies and other international NGOs. Despite high-level promises that aid would be directed “to the people”, how much local organisations will receive has yet to be specified.
To drive the most effective, inclusive, and sustainable response possible, this needs to change. International organisations that received the majority of pledged funds for Beirut must ensure that those resources are distributed to local groups.
At least 50% of that money should go to local feminist organisations to make sure the needs of women and girls in all their diversity – often forgotten in times of crisis – are met.
That’s actually a call for $200 million to be given to her group to pay for things like period poverty.
Gotta admire the ambition of the grift there.