Friday, September 2, 2011

On the effectiveness of aid

The following comments may sound like heresy, but I feel an urgent need to make them.

I would like to highlight what has been written again and again, for decades, not only in respected internet articles, but also in many books by many respected authors. Many titles are readily available in bookstores, libraries and on-line bookstores.

And that is, the shocking truth that - aid does not work!

People with good hearts recognize this reality and stop giving UNLESS they know exactly where the money is going and IF and HOW it is doing any real good to anyone.

But, if you are surprised by this statement, let us take a look at just one of the reasons brought forward by people who have taken this topic to heart. This particular reason is perhaps the most insidious!

In numerous cases, including the very recent one in the Horn of Africa, aid cannot work because of the destructive collection of our own governmental policies that do contribute, if not even create, these calamities in the first place. I find it unconscionable that countries (as homework I leave it for the reader to find out which ones) will not buy grain from farmers in the countries they are trying to help. These countries require that the grain be their own, home grown. The so called "assistance grain" cannot be bought from local farmers. This policy, in effect, puts farming people out of work and many more into the famine roll. Since these policies have been in operation for decades, the damage we are now trying to curb is decades old.

And so, the result is that we give to try (the operative word here is TRY) to compensate for the damage done by our own countries laws. We cannot compete with this situation and so we stop responding to requests for aid.

It is urgent that all of us do read about "why aid does not work" or "cannot work" whichever way you want to say it, and when voting time comes, place our votes wisely. For the wellbeing of those we are so eager to help.

No comments:

Post a Comment