DURING the past two years, members of Friends of Albania have made repeated requests to the Government for medical aid to Albania. The response, if any, has been low-key. As a result, thousands of Albanians, whose country is not at war with anyone, have died or experienced prolonged suffering. In a perfect world the Bosnian suffering would not exist. But for the Government to respond in such an uneconomic and selective manner suggests need alone is insufficient. It is need plus media hype and mawkish public sentiment that produce a response.
How should this be explained to the mothers of Albanian children dying from cancer? How do we tell the director of a 400-bed hospital we cannot help when he and we know that the money spent on one Bosnian child would have, used otherwise, completely refurbished his hospital, saving thousands of lives.