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International Aid

What is the aim of aid?

What is the point of aid?
  • Is it to solve underlying issues in a foreign countries
  • Is it to alleviate the symptoms
  • Is it to open markets for the donor nations
  • Is it to appease post-colonial 'guilt'
  • Is it all the above
  • Is it none of the above

Does aid work?

  • Billions have been poured in over the decades, and are more people in need of aid, or less? 
  • If money is the answer, the problem would be solved by now.
  • No country has been brought out of poverty by aid
  • Things are labelled aid, that are not aid

Things that hinder aid

How can aid have any meaningful short or long term effects in the following environment.
  • Political instability
  • Corruption
  • Culture (religion and traditions)
  • Infrastructure
  • Anti capitalism
Country's like Zimbabwe formally Rhodesia use to be called the food basket of Africa. Look at it now the people who use to run the farms were driven off by Mugabe and the land lies idle.

Does aid treat the symptoms or the cause?

Giving people minimal food, who have no means of supporting themselves otherwise, but have the ability of children, is just snowballing the problem.
Not all aid is equal some is effective, some is not, some comes in the form of sustenance and some in the forms of helping the suffering improve their circumstances like education.

Some will undoubtedly work, but it will be a minority as the main aim is to alleviate symptoms, not cure the problem.

Does aid at least help?

Aid is not good for a countries pride, that they are seen as unable to cope themselves gives a sense of hopelessness.

Some criticisms of aid, are that is:
  • Not given on a basis of need, but what the donor country can get in return
  • Given to governments rather than people
  • Is not spent where it should be
  • Given to countries that have expenditure on luxury items like a space program and nuclear weapons.
  • Aid is contrary to the concept of independence
  • Aid can be a bottomless pit

Does aid hurt?

  • Even if is not a problem for some, should a government in debt be giving away money? It can hurt everyone in the donor nation.
  • Also what about the suffering in the donor nation, they are neglected ones when people think they  re do-gooding.
  • Foreign aid can support countries that oppose the country giving the aid
  • Aid given to foreign people is aid not given to domestic people
  • Aid is not always welcome
  • A compulsive gambler would not be supported, neither would a country whos internal corruption is not under control.

Who's problem is the poverty in other countries?

Responsibility

Who causes these catastrophes, do countries bring it on themselves?

Unless one country directly caused another countries problems, they are not responsible for their problems and therefore have no obligation to give to the other country.

If country A has no control over the activities of country B, Country A is not responsible for what happens in country B.

A question to ask in terms of responsibility, if a parent cannot support child why do they have them? Both in developed and non-developed countries. It is a form of child abuse.

Private individuals can give aid, it is not governments responsibility to do so.

Priorities

  • If you could eat guns no-one in Africa would starve.
  • Why bother with aid? Our governments have no concept of its duty of care to the citizens who employ it, never mind the world as a whole. 
  • What is more important a donor country paying down debt or giving aid to a foreign government,( borrowing to give aid).
  • Sometimes aid is given to richer countries, this cannot be right
  • Aid is sometimes given to countries who are themselves giving aid.

Is aid moral/Just?

Aid is completely moral and just if it is given voluntarily, however, large portions of it are given by governments that confiscate the money off its citizens.

Also not all aid is equal
  • Some aid goes to those who are in a situation they had little control over (like earthquake victims who had no idea there was a fault line)
  • Some aid goes to those that live in hurricane areas when they knew it was in advance
  • Some aid goes to those who wish to overthrow their Government
Some say that U.K must give aid to atone for its history of colonialism
If that is the case the U.K should charge Italy, Norway, Spain and France for any damage done to the UK by the Romans, the Vikings, the Spanish Armada and William the Conqueror.

Is aid Legal?

Taxes under the law of the U.K can only be used on behalf of the people of the U.K . As stated in the Magna Carta of 1215 a contract between the people and the Crown and The Bill of Rights 1689, a statute enacted by parliament.

What is the solution then?

Trade not aid
More people have been raised out of poverty in the last 20 years through opening up trade than aid has ever done.
There are a multitude of examples, from China to Brazil and Vietnam to name just a few.

Is the population too high to sustain?
Is there a possibility of voluntary population control like birth control?
China has tackled too high population growth successfully.

One of the primary reasons for growth in prosperity in Europe and the far East has been family sizes shrinking to more appropriate sizes.

Can technology like GM crops help?

Why don't countries co-ordinate aid?

Aid with conditions.

There is a simple criteria we can apply to overseas aid. If the balance of trade is in the developing countries favour, then we are, through trade, supporting that country.

Aid is something personal and should not be the governments duty, instead all aid money should be given to NGO's (non-government) OR to the poor directly.

Nations, as with people in general, should learn to stand on their own two feet.

Consistency

Agencies who give to the poor don't get taxed on their earnings, but the poor that recive this money get taxed on their income. that seems a little inconsistent.

Alternatives

  • Rather than the state giving aid, private individuals should give it if they feel it is warranted.
  • Should all aid be used to purchase contraception?
  • People should learn to be concerned about the government giving away money.
  • Assist countries routing out corruption.

Quotes


"I am against foreign aid for everyone, Foreign aid is taking money from poor people in a rich country and giving it rich people in poor countries." 
  --  Ron Paul

"We wouldn't like people to prop up a dictator in our country, so why do we do it to other countries"
  --  Ron Paul 

“Africa is addicted to aid,” she says. “Like any addict, it needs and depends on its regular fix, finding it hard, if not impossible, to contemplate existence in an aid-less world.” 

  --  Author Dambisa Moyo (Dead Aid)

Links

http://www.cityam.com/article/fighting-poverty-trade-not-aid

References

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20265583
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