Photo: Gizmodo

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dragons who risk fanning the flames

Just stumbled across this video of James Caan in Pakistan (those in the UK will know him as one of the "Dragons" from the TV show Dragon's Den, a show in which entrepreneurs invite people with business propositions to make a pitch and then decide whether to invest their money).

I'm willing to stand corrected, but the news report gives the impression that he's flown into his native Pakistan with a fistful of pounds to sort the food distribution problem single-handed.

"The food ends up going to the fittest," he insightfully reveals at the end. What did he expect when roaring into the flood hit areas with a lorry full of supplies? That he would automatically be able to identify and reach those most in need?

Why is that so many individuals in these situations believe they can do better than Governments or aid agencies who have years of experience is such complex logistical operations?


  1. These self-promoting jerks, do far more harm than good, and occasionally with tragic consequences.

  2. I do think he's sincere - but initiatives like this need coordination. We (ATD Fourth World) saw first-hand in Haiti just how complicated a task it is to get food aid to people, and that was working in an area we knew well and with an aid agency (Action against hunger) who have years of experience in delivering aid.