Cockroach Corner – June 2014

UNICEF. How much! We are all used to the outrageous amounts of money UN agencies lavish on themselves now Myanmar is experiencing the aid bubble. Last week The Irrawaddy reported that the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) is paying an exorbitant fee for its Rangoon office, which it rents from Nyunt Tin, a former general in Burma’s previous military junta. The next week, Unicef clarified the matter. It said it paid a “steep rental” of $87,000 per month. “However the rent is fixed for 7 years and it is a competitive commercial price in a tough market,” the agency said, adding, “Some international agencies have had to pay considerably more than our $2.9 per square foot for suitable space.” Nice to see your tax dollars at work!

The government in principal have agreed to take Australian boat people as refugees. The latest plan, which Australia has staunchly defended since news leaked out, has come under criticism by international rights groups who point to Cambodia’s weak infrastructure, insufficient social services and spotty human rights record. Of 68 asylum seekers or refugees already living in Cambodia most are desperate to be relocated to another country, welfare groups say. They have not being given work permits so they cannot work officially and they cannot open bank accounts or send money overseas, meaning laws and regulations will have to be changed to give greater rights to any refugees arriving under the Australian agreement However the Cambodian government is reviewing the terms of the proposal (meaning give us more dosh).