With the greatest respect for MSF, who do a great job in often terrible conditions, where others fear to tread – in this case they are wrong – dead wrong.
It’s like having children; it’s not enough putting them in the world, you have to feed them, clothe them, provide them with health care and send them to school – and give them a lot of time and care – that’s why these days people don’t have 12 kids like in the past. With migrants – because only a fraction qualify as refugees – you have to provide them with all of the above, plus language tutoring and jobs. This is all feasible, but not all at once and not overnight. And even if you tackle successfully all the physical challenges, you still have to cope with the cultural integration of this multitude of people which, for a sizeable proportion, just will not happen. The whole problem is compounded by a populist backlash – you may have heard of the elections in Austria which brought a neo-nazi candidate a whisker from power, the situation in Poland, where PiS is busy setting up an authoritarian system copying Orbán and Putin and the countless populist movements across all of Europe. Instead of encouraging millions to people to invest the whole family’s savings into sending their young to Europe, facing a perilous journey likely as not to end up robbed, beaten, raped and, ultimately drowned at sea. It would be infinitely more humane and sane to help them at home, where they can look after their families, where they don’t need to leave everything behind, to eke out a living selling sunglasses on beaches or cleaning toilets to send money back home. Let’s fund their studies (as some friends of mine do), let’s help them create jobs in industry and agriculture, instead of depopulating their countries and destroying the European continent in the process. It costs money and effort, but It’s humane and the right thing to do.
Aid group could lose €60m but says it cannot take money from countries that are ‘pushing away’ people and their suffering