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  1. 1. Peak, Destroying Cultures or Helping Countries Great Aid Debate: Destroying Cultures or Helping Countries Spencer L. Peak Dr. Badiey GS322 CSUMB Intervening into most conflicts is a quality that most large imperialistic nations exhibit with little regard for who they are treading on. In the name of Humanitarian Aid, most countries can
  2. 2. Peak, Destroying Cultures or Helping Countries easily enter a country with little to no harm to themselves. Countries that have many hardships are seen by more developed countries as “in need” of our help and assistance. While often countries do need help, there is a fine line between providing assistance and providing a different way of life. Controversies about the effectiveness of the aid that is offered stem from a long line of perceivable successes and failures. However with the amount of time and money that have been given, I believe the aid is not being administered in the correct fashion and therefore should be evaluated and altered accordingly. Humankind has always had the inclination to do good. “It is a moral obligation of the rich to help the poor.” (Ayittey, 2007) Even with our animal instincts, and selfish thoughts, the idea of helping those less fortunate always occur in one form or another. When war ravaged countries, humankind saw an opportunity to help and provide less death. Often these ideas are one sided but eventually, everyone was one the same level with the amount of death and destruction that was occurring. At the first Geneva Convention of 1864, nations grouped together to create a system of laws that protect those who were fighting from those who weren’t. To do this, one had to make a distinction between what could be attacked and what was be spared or protected. With the adaptation of “war crimes” and the preservative nature of detainees to “maintain their dignity” (ICRC, 2014) key laws were established to control both. With the advent of these new ideas and trends, nations began to take up the mantle and assist when they could. Because of Africa’s political nature, Africa is one of the countries where most humanitarian Aid is being funneled. Many people are both in favor and against putting so much capital into one area through so much time, while many others see great improvements and a slow increase of positive attributes from the effect of increased Humanitarian Aid.
  3. 3. Peak, Destroying Cultures or Helping Countries Many people believe that the foreign aid that has been Administered simply hasn’t worked in the three decades its been attempting to assist. Dambisa Moyo is one of the most adamant leaders of the movement. Her arguments start with the inability of 1st world nations to see Africa as anything more than a poor, poverty stricken, disease ridden country. She mentions how there are more commercials portraying small, sick black african children when there are actually so many more poor chinese and indian children. (Moyo, 2009, Why Aid to Africa is not working. She states, “Aid is making the government in Africa underperform.” Moyo creates (in absence of corruption) a scenario that displays how africans rely on foreign aid for healthcare, education and security. Its difficult to elect any democratic leader when they are not to be held accountable for anything in the nation. With the advent of corruption, John Stossel(ABC) blames the elicit forces that take the money that is donated to Africa and spend it on elaborate “cruises, mansions and lavish trips… America has to rely on foreign governments to administer foreign aid and many foreign governments are kleptocracies.” (Stossel 2009) With the inability to own your own property, businesses are always on a precipice of getting shut down by the corrupt governments. Many years ago, Hong Kong was one of the poorest nations. Now, it has risen high above and become lucrative “not due to the help of foreign aid.” Stossel goes to hong kong and easily starts a business in a single day with the signing of a single document. The many problems that Africa has is only emboldened by the inaccessible government, inability to trade, borrow and start their own businesses. “After 45 years of helping africa, 600 billion dollars has been spent on Africa and children still aren’t getting the twelve cent medicines that could prevent diseases.” (Easterly, 2007) Money meant for the most desperate people is simply not reaching them. Easterly points out how there were still one to three million deaths from malaria last year. (2006) “We also know that there is no country -- anywhere in the world -- that has meaningfully reduced poverty and spurred significant and sustainable levels of economic growth by relying on
  4. 4. Peak, Destroying Cultures or Helping Countries aid. If anything, history has shown us that by encouraging corruption, creating dependency, fueling inflation, creating debt burdens and disenfranchising Africans (to name a few),an aid- based strategy hurts more that it helps.” (Moyo, 2009, Aid ironies) Moyo continues to state how the increased spending of “open ended” systems provide no incentive to look for other option of financing their nation’s own development. Moyo’s metaphor of a “band-aid” solution hits home with the creation of a nation that is half alive and half drowning; “still unable to climb out [of poverty] on its own.” Just as there are many people in favor of denying further aid to africa, there are many supporters in favor of it. Key speakers include Jeffrey Sachs and John McArthur. They often refute the critics of aid by offering a correct analysis of statistics and what good the aid did for Africa. “Child mortality has declined from 229 per 1,000 births in 1970 to 146 per 1,000 births in 2007. Adult literacy has increased from around 27 percent in 1970 to around 62 percent in 2007. Primary school net enrolments have increased from around 53 percent in 1991 to around 70 percent in 2007.” (Sachs, 2011) Sachs goes further by berating Moyo and insinuating that she calls for a recall of the AIDS medicine that has saved roughly two million lives per year. Sachs accurately can refute all of Moyo’s statements where aid has failed, and instead provide insight where her analysis was wrong; offering all facts in a more successfullight. However,the one insight Sachs does not provide is any statement that speaks of the chaotic corrupt governments of sub saharan Africa. When interviewed by Stossel, Sachs states,“our government can find practical ways to ensure that the money we’re giving for real things reach real people …. Audit what's happening and [money giving systems] have shown repeatedly to work.” By contrast, stossel would like to give money to charities instead of politicians because they have better oversight of the money they’re spending. In my opinion, I believe that the current and past system of humanitarian aid has failed. Sure there have been many benefits that show the positive correlation of Humanitarian intervention, but I believe Africa could benefit more with a different approach to humanitarian aid. In order to stop the corruption of
  5. 5. Peak, Destroying Cultures or Helping Countries the money we give, we need to be held fiscally responsible for where it ends up. Even within other governments, we should have the authority to see where it goes, who it benefits and the result of those benefits. To be done properly, Aid must reform health education and infrastructure. Ed Cairns notes that the humanitarian aid would be more effective if it, “worked more closely with local civil societies governments and religious groups on the floor.” He notes how because of this inability to follow through, our funds are lost and we’re not able to carry through or provide more successfulresults. President Kagame of rwanda is working tirelessly to wean himself off of this idea of “free money”. Currently it makes up of 70 percent of the government budget. The important part is the leaders are making active advances to pull themselves together in an effort to wean themselves from foreign aid. A call to reform of the Humanitarian process is what we need to do to ensure Africa slowly stands up on their own. Another solution that Moyo offers is a creation of jobs for the 60 percent of population that is under the age of 24 (Moyo, 2009, Why Aid to Africa is not working) The government to government aid that exists now is no way to build up a nation. Funneling millions and millions of dollars into a country is no way to bring a nation above the line of poverty. “Governments do not rely on tax revenue to stay in office, they rely on aid.” (Moyo, 2009) The intervening of the world into Africa is seen at first as a solid attempt to help a nation. Before I knew anything about this class,I too believed that aid indeed helped Africa,and it was going to take a while to bring them up to speed with the rest of the world. I had done little to no research of the matter. Now, however, I see that the our large first world government is what is supporting the downfall of severalAfrican nations. Coupled with the inaccessibility to necessary rights and the prolific corruption of many leaders, Africa is being forced ever lower into a system that will continue to expect help. Charities that are on the floor providing assistance,skills, or teaching are not the problem. They are providing essential skills that the African population can then utilize. It is the nature of money-giving that has to be evaluated and reformed to fit the country’s current needs. Providing assistance is truly for the wealthy, but it is the type of assistance you provide that is important.
  6. 6. Peak, Destroying Cultures or Helping Countries BIBLIOGRAPHY Sources in favor of providing Aid: Lomborg, Bjørn. (2012 June 4) Ignore the heart-wrenching pictures and focus on the benefits of Aid. The Guardian, retrieved September 26, 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2012/jun/04/heart- wrenching-pictures-benefits-aid?intcmp=122 Hebert, P. (2008). "Feed the World": Food, Development, Aid and Hunger in Africa, 1984--1985. n.p.: ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing McArthur, John. (2007, Dec 10) Aid to Africa Debate. [video file] retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLNITQ1n3Rc&feature=relmfu Lucas, C Payne. (2007, Dec 10) Aid to Africa Debate. [video file] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOhgABTMau8&feature=relmfu
  7. 7. Peak, Destroying Cultures or Helping Countries Sachs, J. (2009, May 27). Moyo's Confused Attack on Aid for Africa. Retrieved September 26, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/moyos-confused- attack-on_b_208222.html Sachs, J. (2009, May 24). Aid Ironies. Retrieved September 26, 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/aid-ironies_b_207181.html Munk, N. (2007, July 1). Jeffrey Sachs’s $200 Billion Dream. Retrieved September 26, 2014, from http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/07/sachs200707 Sachs, J. (2012, May 30). Foreign aid works – it saves lives. Retrieved September 26, 2014, from http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2012/may/30/foreign- aid-works-saves-lives The great aid debate. (2003, Apr 23). Economist.Com / Global Agenda, , 1. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/208739159?accountid=10355 ICRC, (2014, Aug 9). Rules of war (in a nutshell) [video file] retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwpzzAefx9M Sources against providing Aid: Moyo, D. (2009, March 21). Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa. Retrieved September 26, 2014. Moyo, D (2009, Nov 17) Why Aid to Africa is not working [video file] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4a-FZjPreg&feature=related Stossel, John (2009, May 25) ABC News: Documentary about foreign Aid [video file] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi0KyAvHT1Y Ayittey, George. (2007, Dec 10) Aid to Africa Debate. [video file] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNveG3w5yeU&feature=relmfu Easterly, William. (2007, Dec 10) Aid to Africa Debate. [video file] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzy8dafM89E
  8. 8. Peak, Destroying Cultures or Helping Countries Cairns, Ed. (2012, Feb 7) Crisis in a new world order. [video file] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpioLD5Y7VM