About this sample
About this sample
Words: 1122 |
6 min read
Published: Apr 11, 2019
Words: 1122|Pages: 2|6 min read
Foreign Aid is an important international public policy because it determines how much help can be offered to less developed countries as well as providing connections to countries. What makes it so important for the United States is that the aid carries a lot of weight because of it gets used for strategic, economic, and moral reasons (Countries set to receive the most US foreign aid, 2016). This is part of the argument for increasing the amount that US spends on foreign aid, but for what seems like a lot of good there is also a lot of trouble surrounding the foreign aid that is given. This trouble involves money or different types of aid being given that only support the donating country or the money is given to corrupt governments that do not properly disperse the types of aid given (Foreign Aid Development Assistance, 2014). In addition in trying to cut the budget Foreign aid is high up on the chopping block for cutting the already small amount in terms of that actual budget that is given (Foreign Aid: The good and bad, 2011)
The first US aid program originated post World War 2 and was created by Secretary of State George Marshall in order to help aid Europe in rebuilding its infrastructure, strengthening the economy, and stabilizing the region (Foreign Assistance, 2016). The next major change for foreign aid was when President John F. Kennedy signed into law the foreign assistance act and created the United States Agency for International Development. This act created a high increase in foreign aid and the United States Agency for International Development became the first US foreign aid agency that focused on long term global development (Foreign Assistance, 2016). Then in 2010 President Obama signed the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development which stipulated specific terms on how foreign aid should be handled by all agencies involved in foreign affairs (Foreign Assistance, 2016). This directive has been a lot of help to Foreign Aid as it is indeed being looked at for trimming the budget and because if aid is not monitored a lot of it will be spent where it shouldn’t or corrupt governments will take the aid without spreading like mentioned earlier. In addition what aid is spent on is starting to be monitored more greatly as the greatest focus at least for underdeveloped countries is to stimulate and improve the economy as well as pushing trade so that those living in poverty can slowly get out (Foreign Aid: The good and bad, 2011).
To begin with not all the foreign aid being used is beneficial to the countries that are receiving it, for example in Indonesia money is being used to fight deforestation, but this hurts farmers because they are replacing the trees with agriculture which stimulates the economy and in turn helps the country as a whole (Foreign Aid: the good and bad, 2011). In addition to aid being spent on the wrong things in certain countries the US has been noted as being one of the stingiest countries in terms of aid to developing countries which in theory should be where aid goes the most and this comes primarily from the US not paying dues to the UN (Foreign Aid Development Assistance, 2014). In addition the US uses a lot of the foreign aid for national security reasons directing it towards countries the Middle East (Foreign Aid Development Assistance, 2014). With all of these hindrances foreign aid does not fully get to its expected purpose which would be to fuel developing countries’ economies as well as provide help to the vast amount living in poverty across the globe by providing medicine among other things.
The first policy option would be to set very specific uses for all foreign aid funds so if they do get cut in trying to trim the budget what is left will be used responsibly and not for national security purposes. This means setting strict guidelines or passing set laws that state what should be going where or what it should be spent on that would help to stimulate and boost foreign economies. Another possible option would be a policy that all national security issues would fall under the umbrella of military spending so that funds are not diverted from aid and it can be spent responsibly in the right areas. A final option which is similar to the previous one is to pass policy that cuts military spending in favor of using that money in the budget for foreign aid, although this option would be the hardest one to get off the ground it would make a lot of sense over the other two because for starters it has been noted that a certain portion of foreign aid is already spent on national security and military spending in the US is exuberantly large compared to any other country in the world.
The solution I would personally go with is a type of act that would divert a certain percentage of military funding to deal with national security, this is because when looking at what countries receive the most of our foreign aid the top three are Afghanistan, Israel, and Iraq which are all countries we have some sort of national security issues with (Borgen Project, 2016). Keeping this in mind it should also be known the US spends 663 billion on military spending and only 34 billion on Foreign aid and with such a large discrepancy between the two having foreign aid being spent on any kind of national security is redundant and a waste of the federal budget. To further push how much money is overspent on military spending it should be known that the US spent more money on defense then the next 10 highest spenders on defense combined proving the budget is greatly inflated and that much spending should be diverted to more important task i.e. foreign aid (Military Spending Dwarfs Rest of World, 2014). If the US were able to divert even a tenth of that it would make an even better change, but the policy that would be put in place would also set strict guidelines that would benefit the recipients the most. This is the best option because it makes the most sense with the amount the US spends and because how over inflated military spending has become in comparison, this would also help with citizens as many believe that the US spends 25% on Foreign aid so to raise what they already want to cut would be a kind of sneaky way of evening out the reality with what is perceived.
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