Maybe some of you are familiar with the recent events in Greece and how if they fail to pay the International Monetary Fund a €1.6 billion debt coming due at the close of business today (30th June 2015), the country will immediately be in arrears to the fund, an event normally known in the financial world as a “default” (more info of the whole situation here).
But I am not going into political or economic details. I am going to talk about what appears to be a pretty cool initiative – the Greek Bailout Fund Crowdfunding campaign. A 29 year old living in London has decided to set up a campaign in order to help Greece pay the debt – donors would receive little gifts and goods depending on the amount spent and little by little, with the help of people a whole country will be bailed out.
All nice and good, until you realise how people channel their attention! I am not implying that this campaign is a disaster or it shouldn’t exist. I am implying that people would rather bail out a country that had the resources to organise and mobilise itself (but did not manage to) rather than help the undernourished/poor/marginalised/sick/needy people from the developing countries live a ‘normal’ or at least ‘decent’ life. I am not condemning anyone in particular, I am just unhappy about priorities these days.
I love Greece – especially for the attractions, food and culture – even if I’ve never actually been there and I really wish they will manage to get back on track. But in no way I can agree with the ‘herd behaviour’ driving people to instantly help a resourceful, developed and able country, rather than one of the many least developed, such as Afghanistan, Burundi, Cambodia or other 45 countries classified as ‘least developed’ by the UN. In less than a day, more than €200,000 have been raised – imagine what this money could do in any/many of the aforementioned countries.
So, leaving aside international organisations such as Red Cross, UNICEF and the like, I would really want to see such direct involvement from the people for all great causes, not just a debt bailout. The initiative is great – I just wish it was more applicable for the really needy, expecting nothing in return. And if you come to think that by 2016 it is expected for the wealthiest 1% to own more than 50% of the world’s wealth…
Written by: Ioana-Alexandra Tache