Danish Aid is a Farce

The prominent Thai Mechai Viravaidya, who has been named by Time Magazine as one of the most important people in Asia for his work on welfare, criticizes the Danish aid assistance. According to Mechai the reason is simple.

– This is exactly how Denmark always does aid work. It is equivalent to having a child and then suddenly dropping the child of in the middle of the wilderness. Danish aid is short-sighted and without visions, he says.

Today Mechai runs Thailand’s largest aid agency, PDA, known for its efficiency and high imaginative abilities – Words he is not using to describe the Danish financial support.
– I know a lot about the Danish aid assistance. Some years ago we developed a fantastic program where we reached out to 4000 schools and taught children about the environment. We received support from Denmark but just as the program ran best, they said stop, so we had to close the program because we had no money, he says.

Mechai believes that with projects, such as the Danish Red Cross’s schools in Laos, it is necessary to involve both the local community and economic life.
– Carlsberg owns Beer Lao, and you could have involved the brewery and other businesses as supporters and friends of the schools, he says.

Mechai has used this strategy with huge success in Thailand where hundreds of large companies support poor villages with small projects which has brought thousands of young people back to the remote villages.
– The Danish Crown Prince Frederik stayed with me and he has seen how we do it, says Mechai.

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