At that time, whilst we were congratulating ourselves for helping out. One of my teachers pointed out - yeah then what? The problems that caused the crisis will still exist. You feed 30 million people - what happens when that population is doubled to 60 then 120... are you still going to keep on sending them money?
In effect, the problem was staring at us in the face - its Band Aid. A short term fix. Won't do bugger all for the patient who is dying from cancer.
But what if the patient refuses treatment?
The problems of Africa and most third-world countries is simply thus: corrupt leaders who will do their utmost to maintain their strongarm grip on their nation - and keep the rest of the populace in poverty. And a populace who are easily misled by demagogues. Its not the modern world - its not even medieval - its a feudal or a tribal mindset - hence you have genocidal massacres like in Rwanda.
Giving aid to these nations inevitably enriches the pockets of the same bastards who are the cause of the problem. And that's the dilemma - you send $100 worth of aid. $1 goes to the receipt ant - the rest goes to the people in charge. Its a vile and corrupt way of making money.
The leaders of Africa and the rest of the 3rd world nations - should simply admit that they are totally inept or worse, intelligently maintaining their powerbase at the entire expense of the rest of their people. Who gives a damn? I'm rich and powerful, and I like it that way. But whatever else, I'd rather not see (the other person) succeed and do well. It was this ethos that kept China from progressing for 500 years.
The only solution for African nations is to just give up, go back to school - and ask other people to help them run their nation. Re-colonialism. Get the US or some other benign power to help run their civilian bureaucracy and military. Send their children and Young people to get educated. Remove all the tribal distinction that caused the terrible genocides in the past. And this is the punch, end democracy for the masses. Voting should only be allowed if the people were employed and owned property. But regulating this would be a big mess. Hence they need to have a colonial administrator to be in power.
Democracy is a great idea- but it only really works if the people who voted were educated, intelligent, or were willing to work together for the common good. Remember how democracy was formed - in the ranks of the ancient Greek phalanx. They all had to work together - rich or poor - otherwise the phalanx would fall apart and the battle was lost.
In societies which are fractured by tribal or racial jealousies - democracy does not work - period. Once one group gets into power - it immediately sets about trying to persecute and oppress the other groups, or the other groups would try and wack the winner of the election.
People forget that it has taken centuries (and bloodshed) for a Western style democracy and civil society to form - and even then considering how screwed up some of the Western governments are - you really have to wonder.
The trick is to be able to pass from a colonial nation to one where there is a civil society and govt. I'm talking about one where there is no corruption, the trains run on time, the infrastructure is maintained, the bureaucrats are competent and the leaders are good administrators and not fucking Nelson Mandela - plenty of rhetoric, fine speeches, and do bugger all. If you don't believe me - look at South Africa. Its about 100 times worse since Apartheid fell out.
I don't believe this sort of process can be achieved in a lifetime - a strong vibrant middle class progressive society has to evolve. Then its got to take at least three generations who are well educated and trained - plus a civilian and military bureaucracy and system of government that prevents any one group from seizing violent power whilst allowing the competent to progress. That would take a good 100 years to achieve. But for that - they need an overseer to see it through.
And no, the UN would do a shit job of doing this.