The United Nations, a global bureaucracy with a leftist bent and a passion for increasing revenue, is targeting football games and concerts for new sources of humanitarian aid funding. The tax idea is being promoted as “voluntary”, for the present at least. Once a tax is in place, however, it will never go away.
According to Agence France-Presse (via the Bangkok Post), the UN also “recommended tapping into Islamic social finance and mandatory alms-giving, or zakat, as well as improving the transparency of relief operations to cut costs.”
AFP said, “Only five countries provide two-thirds of all public humanitarian aid.” A list was not included, but regions most in need of assistance were listed:
“Three out of four UN appeals for humanitarian funding for more than a billion dollars are in the Middle East and North Africa region.”
A quick check of humanitarian donors I selected from a website for an organization in the aid business shows a dramatic contrast in donor countries. The United States taxpayer, for instance, in 2014, provided $32.2 billion in total assistance with $2.3 billion of that in humanitarian aid.
China provided $3 billion in total assistance with $54 million in humanitarian aid.
Saudia Arabia provided $5.7 billion in total assistance, with $754 million in humanitarian aid.
Scandals involving humanitarian aid are not uncommon.
In July, 2015, I reported the acting deputy inspector general for USAID acknowledged:
“[F]ood aid had been provided to a group registered with the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which enforces sanctions against foreign parties that represent a national security, foreign policy, or economic threats to the United States.”
In that story I also reported US taxpayers had funded free phones, sarcastically referred to by critics as Obamaphones, in Syria.
Purchases of those phones, by the way, helped further enrich one of the world’s richest men who is the top shareholder in left of center The New York Times. Slim made his money with a de facto monopoly in his home country, Mexico.
The UN has been involved in scandals over funding for humanitarian assistance, such as the fraud involving Saddam Hussein and Iraq’s oil-for-food program.
US Aid was also involved in a little-reported controversy involving Cuba and Hillary Clinton.
US Aid recently announced $100 million will be spent to build schools in Jordan.
It is unlikely Congress would approve a new global tax even if it is voluntary on the parts of those targeted, but the current administration in the White House has often ignored Congress’ power of the purse.
Featured Image: On her second day as secretary of state in 2009, Hillary Clinton visited US AID. (Photo: US Government)
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/January 20, 2016)
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