Cancer of corruption
THE appeal for concern for the world’s poor aired at the just-concluded World Economic Forum at the mountain resort of Davos, Switzerland continues to resonate with such urgency as to touch peoples and governments everywhere to contribute to the alleviation of poverty wherever it may be found.
At the same time, the “cancer of corruption” that is widespread in most of the Third World countries was denounced as a major cause of backwardness and impoverishment of the people.
United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in a statement, referred to the “poorest people who live on less than a dollar a day who are vulnerable to every stock that comes.”
He called on leaders of government and society to stand by them.
Bill Gates, known worldwide as a generous benefactor to good causes has called for “creative capitalism” to do a better job of serving the world’s poor as well as the rich.
He expressed alarm that capitalism, while so good for so many, is failing much of the world.
Ban Ki-Moon and Bill Gates were only two of the 2,500 business and political leaders who gathered in Davos for the Forum’s first meeting this year.
As you may well know, the World Economic Forum is the “Geneva-based non-profit foundation best known for its annual meeting in Davos, that brings together top business leaders, international political leaders who are known for their commitment to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional, and industry agenda.”
That United Nations’ Ban Ki-Moon and Bill Gates should concern themselves with the “bottom billion,” in reference to the poorest of the poor of the world, is understandable precisely because of the current economic meltdown sweeping countries worldwide.
Obviously, they wanted to remind rich countries represented in the Davos gathering that they have tough obligation to perform for the world’s poverty-stricken citizens, particularly at this time of spreading crisis.
In a recent report carried by the International Herald Tribune it was noted that a new sub-class of Japanese workers were finding themselves literally cast into the streets as the economy sours.
Also, it was reported that some advertisements were beginning to appear in newspapers and online that offered lumber for food or medicine.
Gates, in particular, urged business establishments to devote a larger percentage of their resources for the rescue of Third World countries from hunger and extreme poverty.
It is recalled that at various times he urged business to work hand in hand with government and non-profit organizations in a new level of participation with the objective of reversing the onrush of poverty, and embarking on technological innovations for those left behind.
At one time, his foundation gave 6 million for a green technology project and farming techniques to save millions of people from hunger and extreme destitution.
At one point of the discussions, it was noted what has been the experience in corrupt societies: People being cut off from access to public services such as provisions for clean water, health care, credit, and good education, among other public benefits.
The cancer of corruption, it was pointed out, was as endemic as the rampant practice of “making payments for non-existent public works projects, money disbursed to fictitious persons; employed personnel are paid only a fraction of the stipulated wages with the rest appropriated by officials…”
Of course, they all sound familiar – and so basic and too elementary compared to the rascality of some of our own corrupt officials – as if you didn’t know.
By HERN P. ZENAROSA