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Aid Should Help, not Hurt

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Aid Should Help, Not Hurt. Sending aid to other countries is called Foreign aid. Foreign aid is the transfer and loaning of funds, goods or services from one country to another. It is moved from one country to another country. (1) The main purpose of aid, mainly in poor countries, is to improve poverty, give support to the people who can’t reach their needs to survive, rebuild important buildings such as School, Hospitals, and Police Departments and restore a great economy to pick up the country once again. However, the usefulness of foreign aid for poverty relief in Africa has lost its objective. Since the 1950s, the idea that huge amounts of donations can cure poverty has led economic development discourses.

More than half of the sub-Saharan Africa are now much poorer than in the 1960s. (2) I don’t deny that the fact that many factors that have contributed to poverty in Africa which include natural disasters such as famine, draught, and wars. But what about the huge excess of aid they have been guiding to this developing country? What did they use it for? According to statistics, while advancement has been made in other rising regions of the world, particularly East Asia in the last six decades, the percentage of those living in life- threatening poverty increased in sub-Saharan Africa. (3) Such statistics can be both terrible and at the same time crushing. There are several reasons to why foreign aid is unsuccessful for poverty relief in Africa. The first reason is that poverty in African countries is not a cruel circle waiting to be broken by foreign help. Instead, poverty is created by economic institutions that thoroughly block the incentives and chances of poor people to make their lives better by themselves and their country.

Let us for instance the system of apartheid in South Africa which Nelson Mandela fought against. In this situation, apartheid was a set of economic institutions which was planned to work against the black South Africans. It contained rules that governed and dictated to people what they should do and what they should not do, including the motivations and openings they are entitled to. (4) In 1913, the South African government announced that 93 percent of South Africa was for the ‘white economy’, while 7 per cent was for blacks (who constituted about 70 percent of the population). Blacks had to have a pass, almost as a national passport, to travel to the cities for job opportunities in the white-controlled mines and industries. They could not own property or start a business there. Such economic organizations, avoid the people that need help and opportunities of the massive population of black South Africans and largely kept them in poverty. While the country was rich during this period, the wealth was in few hands and the common were poor. As such, foreign aid would not remove such institutional strength that disadvantaged the majority to access to the national resources. It should be noted that people in underprivileged countries have the same drives as those in rich countries.

Just like those from developed nations, people from humble nations also need freedom of accessibility to economic reserves, to have the same chances to good health care, unpolluted portable water in their homes and value education for their children. The reason to why the poor remain poor is because their basic ability with their talents have been disallowed the opportunity to grow by their various establishments in those countries. In Sub-Sahara African states, it is important to note that once you are wealthy, you are advantaged because you are entitled to much more power while the poor on the other hand, are less fortunate and at the pity of those in power. By way of conclusion, the evidence from examples above and analysis have shown that poor people are trapped within economic institutions and until these institutions feel a major change, foreign aid and any growth it seeks to achieve will only be an illusion, not only in Sub-Sahara Africa, but across all developing countries of the world.

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