Wednesday, July 27, 2011

$350 Million for Malawi?

According to the New York Times, yesterday the U.S. froze a $350 million dollar "grant" to Malawi.
A senior American official, Sheila Herrling, said Tuesday that the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a federal agency, was “deeply disturbed” by accusations that the police had fired live rounds on unarmed people last week, and by claims that press coverage of the two-day demonstrations had been suppressed. The $350 million grant from the corporation, which was announced only in April and was to be disbursed over five years for electricity generation, is a large amount of money for Malawi, whose annual budget is about $2 billion.
I'd be willing to bet that many Americans would be very surprised to hear, especially given our own fiscal situation, that until this hold we were going to give $350 million dollars of U.S. taxpayer money to Malawi. Even I was surprised at the amount, although I know that we just hand out cash like candy to pretty much anyone, even to hostile populations like the Palestinians and the Pakistanis.

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