Recently a show was performed after school to raise money for international charity. Although the International Club?s efforts should be applauded and supported, the effectiveness of foreign aid on a world scale has yet to be determined. Charity is one of the most celebrated acts of humanity, but many have accused foreign aid recipients and producers of corruption. In addition, many believe that charity organizations fail to support the deprived public in various disadvantaged areas.
Experts such as Tony Vaux, a former official at Oxfam International charity organization, believe the drawbacks outweigh the benefits. For example, the drawback of food drives is that they force farmers to lower their price of crops so that they can compete with relief. As a result, farmers cannot advance their standard of living in a region where agricultural relief is prominent. If the farmers cannot feed their nation?s population then that nation will depend on foreign assistance.
Originally, it was believed that the problems of aid reducing production could be resolved with cash funds. Unfortunately, the right of sovereignty, which many leaders use as a way to take control of international aid, jeopardizes aid agencies? ability to help the people. Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir demanded control of foreign aid to his country but it is believed he would use this aid to instead increase militarization. The fear of corruption undermines each charity?s ability to help the public. Arguably, the issue that has yet to be resolved is responsible for the care of the people.
Motivation may often come under question in regards to international charity; more often than not, all aid comes at a price. The Bush administration combated the AIDS virus on the African continent to appease Bush?s Christian base. Ulterior motives are prevalent in international aid. As Nii Akuetteh, director of advocacy group Africa Action, stated, “There are conditions that are attached [with the United States? medical supplies] where the emphasis is more on countries that open up their markets so American companies can go in and privatize things.” Countries that do not have as good relationships with the U.S. do not receive the aid they need.
Logically, people pursue personal gain at every turn. However, conditions such as the situation by the Bush administration become detrimental to relief operations.
Furthermore, there is the matter of the proper timing to assist the international community. In the case of Greece?s economic crisis, the European Union (EU) had to decide whether to bail them out. When they did, Scheherazade Rehman, director of the George Washington University EU research center pointed out that “it came too little too late.”
Germany also had the option to bail out Greece before the economic chaos broke. But for primarily domestic political reasons, they waited. Now Germany and the European Union will inevitably have to pay more money to reverse the effects of Greece?s economic downturn. For relief to be effective, it has to be preemptive.
The reality is that in this capitalistic world, survival of the fittest is the only way to succeed. Each country wants to advance and if it is to prevail, it has to do it on its own. Foreign aid has done wonders for the world but it perpetuates the lie that developing countries cannot succeed.