The Dark Side of Live Aid: How Charity Funds Ended Up in the Wrong Hands

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The Dark Side of Live Aid: How Charity Funds Ended Up in the Wrong Hands

Charity Skepticism: A Valid Concern

It’s no wonder that some people are hesitant to donate to charities. While not all of them turn out to be scams, there are instances where funds raised for a cause don’t fully benefit the intended recipients. Excuses are made, expenses are cited, but the bottom line is that charity fundraising doesn’t always go as planned. One such example is the infamous Live Aid concert, which, while not a scam, saw its funds end up in the hands of an Ethiopian dictator instead of the poor and impoverished it was meant to help.

Live Aid’s Unintended Consequences

Though it has been hotly denied and discredited, the truth remains that the money raised from Live Aid went to Mengistu Haile Mariam, a dictator with a reputation for killing innocents and forcibly relocating them from their homes. This was a devastating realization for those involved in the fundraising, such as Bob Geldof, who couldn’t face up to the responsibility of their actions. Imagine raising a significant amount of money for famine relief in a desperate country, only to hand it over to a man committing genocide under the guise of helping others in need.

Bob Geldof’s Controversial Stance

Even thirty years later, Bob Geldof won’t respond to the allegations. He believed his actions were justified and that things went the way they should have. He even went on record stating that he would shake hands with the devil if it meant that the people in need would get what they needed. This statement is dangerous in many ways. It could mean that he would gladly deal with the devil if it meant convincing him to allow those who need help to obtain it. Alternatively, it could mean that he could, as he did, shake hands with the devil in an attempt to make it look as though he was trying to outsmart Mengistu. Either way, Geldof’s actions fell short, and he was forced to vehemently defend himself before disappearing from the public eye for a while.

The BBC’s Apology and Lingering Questions

The BBC was forced to apologize after stating that they didn’t have enough evidence to show that the money had indeed gone to Mengistu. This apology undercut the investigation into why people in the region were still starving and why the famine relief didn’t seem to be working. There are many different answers, but the chief ones among them are that throwing money at a problem doesn’t solve the problem; it only alleviates the symptoms. The other answer is that the people didn’t get the money, and since it’s Africa, few people really asked any questions.

An Honorary Knighthood: Adding Insult to Injury

As if to add insult to injury, Bob Geldof, the man who handed over the money, received an honorary knighthood. This serves as a stark reminder that even the most well-intentioned acts can have disastrous consequences when funds end up in the wrong hands. It’s essential for donors to be vigilant and informed about the charities they support, and for organizations to be transparent and accountable in their actions. Only then can we hope to make a real difference in the lives of those who need it most.

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