Friday, December 19, 2008

The Foreign-Aid Micro Credit in a Time of Famine


Over-nighting Foreign Aid to Ethiopia by cell phone?

e-Manna / micro-Manna -->> Photons to Food in a Flash

Directly empowering the "Bottom of the Pyramid" to feed themselves immediately

Many of you may have noticed, sadly, this headline below which did not have to be written, but was due to the heinous obstructionism of farm lobbyists in the U.S.:

"Dead Children Linked to Aid Policy in Africa Favoring Americans"

In my post below dated December 13, 2008, I first described "The Foreign-Aid Micro Credit" (FAMC), which could have reduced the 6-month aid-shipment process -- lamentably described in the article above -- down to only a few minutes or hours.

How ? -- just have the appropriate U.S.-based government agency or NGO (non-governmental organization) such as USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) wire a few million dollars to the Central Bank of Ethiopia, which then apportions it among the country's mobile carriers that support SMS-based money transfers. Then transfer the millions of dollars $ 20 at a time directly to cell phones in villages and towns in the famine area, or adjacent areas.

Can starving people eat money or e-money? No, but as written in Ecclesiastes:

"A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things" -- Ecclesiastes 10:19.

In short, even in an area of famine, food can be bought, or it would soon be buyable when regions neighboring the famine area learned that the starving people now had cash or e-cash.

What if you don't trust the Central Bank of Ethiopia nor any intermediaries between the U.S.-based agency and the famished on the ground? Then transfer the cash directly from Washington, DC to any cell phone user/owner registered or living in famine area. This is technologically possible today -- see:

"Vodafone, Safaricom and Western Union Announce Partnership to Deliver International Mobile Money Transfers; Pilot Launched between U.K. and Kenya"

Englewood, Colo., London & Nairobi, Kenya, Dec 08, 2008 (Business Wire)

Let me guess? -- You're worried about graft, fraud and "leakages"? Well, now the same things occur 6 months after the food-aid is shipped -- and after the children are already dead. The greatly delayed food is often stolen by Third-World soldiers, government officials, pirates & brigands just a few miles from the mouths of the despairing.

So I ask you, what is easier to steal? -- a ton of rice worth $500 on a truck? Or $500 sent wirelessly from Washington, DC or from a bank in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, $ 20 at a time to 25 different cell-phone owners in the Slough of Despair?

I would bet it is mathematically infinitely harder to steal 25 separate packets of photons going to 25 different numeric destinations compared to stealing one physical truck. Now multiply this scenario by 10,000 or 100,000 e-money transfers to the afflicted region. Would a few cell phone owners in the area with full bellies undeservingly receive an e-money transfer? Of course -- but just consider it the price of building goodwill in Africa for the often-maligned United States of America. "Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days" -- Ecclesiastes 11:1.

Let me guess? -- you suppose there are no cell phones in southern Ethiopia, especially in an area of famine? But there are, and even more so in the surrounding urbanized areas where food could be bought if money or e-money were in the hands of local church groups, charities or NGOs. Africa is home to almost 300 million cell phones, and the penetration rate is over 30%. In sum, access or coverage is not the problem.

American farm lobbyists are the problem.

Write to your congresswoman or congressman today and demand that America's barbaric farm-aid policy be changed immediately. But while you wait for those hearts of glaciers to melt, tell them also about the cell phone-based Foreign-Aid Micro Credit (FAMC), which could be implemented immediately.

The Foreign-Aid Micro Credit -- another form of e-Manna to feed Mankind -- courtesy of the cell phone.

Globally & telephonically yours,

David A. Palella
Caped Carbon Crusader

San Diego, CA
tel: 858-793-0741