March 20th 2010

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: Rudd's hospital scheme: spin before substance

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Rudd lays groundwork for health referendum

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Tony Abbott's faux pas alienates allies

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Can SA's Liberals topple Labor's Mike Rann?

FOREIGN TRADE: Australian shareholders suspicious of China's motives

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS: Gathering crisis engulfs the European Union

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Australian force in East Timor reduced

OPINION: Labor unconcerned about Australia's debt explosion

DIVORCE LAW: Family Law's unending war on fatherhood

MEDICAL RESEARCH: Cannabis causes psychotic disorders in young users

UNITED NATIONS: Aid for Haiti delayed by condom shipments

OPINION: Eight arguments for school voucher funding

CIVILISATION: The politicisation of modern education

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Couple nurture virtual child as real daughter starves to death; Staring into the chasm; French intellectual victim of hoax

CINEMA: Suspense-filled American war thriller - The Hurt Locker, rated MA15+ (for war violence and language)

BOOK REVIEW: GOING ROGUE: An American Life, by Sarah Palin

BOOK REVIEW: WEDNESDAY WARRIORS: Doing it for the Jumper, by James Gilchrist

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Aid for Haiti delayed by condom shipments

by Babette Francis

News Weekly, March 20, 2010
During the UN's Habitat II World Conference in Istanbul, 1996, I was astonished to hear Dr Nafiz Sadik, then president of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), say that in disaster situations such as earthquakes or floods, it was not the role of governments to send only relief equipment such as flashlights, ropes, food and clean water, but they should also be sending birth-control materials such as pills, condoms and menstrual extraction kits (early abortion devices).

I could hardly believe what I was hearing, but I made careful notes and that is indeed what she said. The mental picture this conjured up of a rescuer with a flashlight and ropes offering traumatised individuals contraceptive pills along with bottled water boggles the imagination.

In following years, confirmation of these UNFPA priorities came from Dr Margaret Ogola, paediatrician from Kenya, a regular speaker at World Congress of Families conferences. She described hospitals in Kenya well stocked with every imaginable birth-control potion or device, but lacking antibiotics, anti-malarial drugs, bandages and basic medical equipment.

The funding for this flood of contraceptives comes from the UN's World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, via donations from the US, Canada, and Europe.

A few weeks ago, John-Henry Westen and Kathleen Gilbert of reported that distribution of medical aid to thousands of earthquake victims in Haiti was delayed for weeks by a massive supply of condoms dominating the space of the main storage facility in Port-au-Prince.

They wrote: "The central pharmaceutical supply centre, known as PROMESS (Program on Essential Medicine and Supplies), is home to the operations of the World Health Organization (WHO)/Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the area."

According to an eyewitness with insider information, "the glut of condoms at that same warehouse delayed the massive influx of aid pouring in from around the world … and may have cost lives".

Westen and Gilbert continued: "The source reported that shipping containers of medical supplies were unable to be unloaded, sorted and distributed since an enormous supply of condoms clogged the facility till early February, when the condoms could be removed. The condoms were estimated to take up about 70 per cent of the space in the 17,000 sq. ft. warehouse. …

"The scenario of medical supply buildings in the developing world taken up mostly by condoms and severely lacking in health-care supplies is not new. When Canadian General Romeo Dallaire returned from Rwanda in the aftermath of the Rwandan Massacre, he noted in a 1996 speech that military personnel referred to UN and other foreign aid as 'covering the country with rubber'. [Some enterprising villagers did use the condoms to cover potholes in their roads].

"Dallaire explained that tons of condoms and other contraceptives were being shipped to and distributed around the region in quantities far beyond what the population could use and in place of much more needed food, medicine and other critically-needed aid. Medicine stores, he said, were filled with contraceptives and extremely short of any supplies to treat wounded Rwandans." (, February 18, 2010).

Showing business flair, some Indians have taken advantage of the condom-dumping. The BBC reported in 2004 that, in one Indian city alone, 600,000 condoms a day were used in the sari-weaving industry which used the lubrication in the condoms to soften the loom's shuttle, making weaving faster, without risking stains to the silk. (BBC World News, July 30, 2004).

Rick Stout and Barry McLerran's documentary, Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family (2008), which highlights the decline in birth rates around the world, has been followed by a sequel, Demographic Bomb (2009). Perceptive economists are becoming aware of the connection between declining birth rates/ageing population and economic stagnation, a connection that is apparent in Europe and Japan.

According to estimates from Germany's Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the population of that country declined slightly again in 2009 from the previous year. The decline is estimated at about 0.3 per cent - from 82.0 million inhabitants at the end of 2008 to 81.8 to 81.7 million one year later. Since 2003, Germany's population has fallen every year. (Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland).

Why then does the EU - with Germany the largest donor - fund so many condom shipments to developing countries? Is the objective to afflict these countries with birth-rates below replacement level before they have even achieved the status of First World nations?

Carol Ugochukwu, president of United Families of Africa in Enugu, Nigeria, commented in a 2000 interview that Western delegations at the UN were trying to "exterminate the whole race" with their promotion of condoms.

Babette Francis is national coordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc., an NGO having special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC). She is currently in New York attending the 54th session of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women, where thousands of radical feminists are lobbying to have abortion on demand established as a "human right".


Nivedita Pathak, "Condoms oil wheels of industry", BBC World News (South Asia), July 30, 2004.

John-Henry Westen and Kathleen Gilbert, "Shipments of medical aid to Haiti delayed by massive condom overload",, February 18, 2010.

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