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Friends of mine live in a developing country where students receive help preparing for college in the United States. They seek out English teachers; they seek scholarships and local community support for foreign students; they assist advisers who are writing recommendations.

This is from a recent letter:

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Recently G has been teaching global issues each Saturday as part of our weekly ISP meetings, providing students with two articles to read in advance and be ready to discuss. In the context of one of the articles the question came up: "How many receive the UNHCR box of food every month? Have you ever looked at what it says on the pasta?" Ahmed immediately called out: "Yes. It says: 'This is a present from the United States!'" The context: They had read "A Social Justice Quiz" by Bill Quigley and one question asked where does the $30 billion a year in development assistance given by the US to poor countries put the US among the 23 richest countries in the world? (Answer: 19th) But really that's not the only scandal -- the aid often comes like this pasta with its "aren't we a generous people" label. It's pasta for heaven's sake! It's something that should be done locally, but the US buys up subsidized wheat, and makes gift pasta, and counts this toward its $30 billion in aid -- and often, in doing this, undersells local farmers, mills and stores.


Take a look at the whole quiz. You can click on the sources of the answers and find out much more. Warning: It's worse than you thought.

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