>Cut aid to the Third World?

>Dambisa Moyo, author of “Dead Aid: Why Aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa” argues that aid encourages corruption and a culture or reliance. She says that if we were to wean aid dependent countries off of aid they would be more incentivised to enact some real reform that might help growth. What do you think? Good idea or bad idea?


  • >As I understand it Dambisa Moyo's argument is similar to the argument against communism i.e. it's a good idea but it disincetivises hard work and reforms. She points to China and India as places with higher poverty than Africa, and yet uses them as examples of countries who have achieved magnificent levels of growth without aid. She also says that aid has never succeeded in lifitng a country out of poverty; all it has done is create dependency, and a desire for governments to constantly suck up to donor countries, hence ignoring their own people.I think in saying this she has a good point and I don't think her arguments should be dismissed. However I do not think aid should be cut off. I simply think aid should be more targeted. At present a large amount of aid has no real specified direction. It's given yearly and becomes expected. Yet even if it was used to the full, that aid would not eradicate extreme poverty. Hence I agree that this regular contribution of aid should be steadily removed (on a timescale sorted out individually with each country). However I do not think this money should go back to the donor governments.Instead, I think that we must increase tha amount of money we give (beyond the 0.7% rate), but that it should all go to a central fund in a similar manner to how money is given to the IMF today. Having this pool of money would allow a wider perspective on the allocation of aid, and the ability to remove aid from one source if another was more in need. It would also provide a safety net for all countries, rich or poor, in the event of a disaster such as an earthquake or genocide. The central target body would involve regional bodies such as the African Union, national governments, local businesses, and local residents, as well as international advice.The aid would be targeted towards temporary projects and permament aims. I would set the aims as eliminating world poverty and increasing global trade. We could then launch temporary projects such as creating a network of usable roads throughout Africa, and take on country projects whereby we would pool resources to lift the poorest country out of poverty, and then move on to the next one. With such world focus on each project, accountability and innovation would be higher. And no country would become dependent for every project would by defintion be temporary. We would also commit the world to a new vision of equality whereby no one slipped behind a certain level. For we would not be targeting normative ideas of poverty, but relative ones. Hence after lifting the last country out of extreme poverty we would begin lifting the country with extreme relative poverty up. Though of course after this was achieved we could even lower the amount of aid given.

  • >While we may benefit from cutting aid to 3rd-world countries, the media will surely hype this up alot. Also, as a person living in a 1st/3rd(depending on viewpoint) country, Puerto Rico, we get tremendous help from the feds.

  • >Hi Joe, thanks for commenting.Yes the media would absolutely hype it up. It would certainly be the "hot" topic for a person's term in office. It would be the one that would get everyone heated up, even those who profess not to care about politics. But shouldn't we be thinking about how much of a difference it makes to the recipients more than the donors?How do you view the aid coming to Puerto Rico? Wouldn't you prefer that the amount increased now as part of a temporary project to provide real solutions today, rather than being protracted out over a long period of time?

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