In a secularized West, charitable organizations are the modern-day saints granting us our expiatory rites. Many humanitarian NGOs even seem to cater to Western consciences filled with guilt.
Since these NGOs say they work on behalf of “humanity” and for a “better world”, while possibly assuming that states and governments act only for the sake of social efficiency or their own self-preserving interests. Yet, often these NGOs risk becoming bureaucracies as much as states do, sometimes even with similar sexual and financial scandals. At times these NGOs also can look like just a “mammoth machinery” with more employees than services; a steep, often unaccountable budget, and an ideology promoting the worst “Western stereotyping”. The weekly magazine The Spectator called them “the bad charity”.
Lately, not a single week has passed without a negative story in the press about British NGOs. Now Oxfam, one of the wealthiest and most important of them, is sinking from a series of scandals in Africa and Haiti. It used, it seems, taxpayers’ money, intended for the earthquake victims, to pay for “Caligula-style orgies”. It also fired the actresses Kristin Davis and Scarlett Johansson, who volunteered as Oxfam “ambassadors,” after they appeared in advertisements for Israeli companies. Oxfam accused the women of rhetorically “oppressing” the Palestinians; meanwhile Oxfam’s staff was physically oppressing the Haitians.