Should western countries provide financial aid to developing countries?
The economic conditions of countries around the world can be divided into two parts. There are the rich, mostly western countries including European countries and The United States, and then there are other developing or undeveloped countries which often consist of Asian or African countries.
From this picture the question arises whether or not it is maybe unfair for the world to be divided in such different financial situations. Should western countries provide financial aid to developing countries? Yes they should, because it is a duty of the stable countries to help the needy when they can, because who have should share with those who don’t. On the other hand, rich countries taking responsibility for the poor ones may result in developing countries depending on others for financial help, instead of taking initiative for themselves. In this paper I will be looking at different perspectives on the matter and reach a conclusion after studying the several sides.
It can be argued that foreign aid is important, just as much for developing countries as it is favourable for the country contributing the money itself. Supportingly, source 11 provides us with many implications and constructive data, saying that Rwanda has been able to double the size of its economy with its budget which counts on financial aid for 50%.
The article does state that there have not been studies proving the advantage of financial aid. Many studies even confirm the contrary. For instance, a large part of aid to Africa was wasted in the 80s and 90s.
From the provided information, Source 1 (CNN) conitnues to conclude that foreign aid can help, and it is even called important as the author says that developing countries can not develop their capacities and reach their maximum production potential, beasue they lack the capital to afford technology and resources required to produce.
I understand why the author from CNN tempts to conclude that foreign aid is essential with all the evidence presented, however I think the source failed to weigh both sides of the question properly. There are relatively many results showing the betterment of financial aid, whereas there is no evidence to support the opposite. This makes me question the reliability of this article.
On the other hand, there is Source 2 which claims that ”The main point is that giving aid is not actually a great act of generosity at all.” According to this paper, the way rich countries are trying to help out the poor countries is wrong in itself.
The Source provides facts about how much money has gone to impoverished countries, and then goes on to explain how this financial aid does not help the countries develop further at all.
This Source concludes that yes, powerful countries should support developing countries, however this should not be done by just giving money to the needy. It would be more helpful if the richer countries would stimulate poorer ones by stimulating the poor countries’economy, for example by increasing trade with the necessitous countries.
I think this article did properly look at both sides of the matter, considering how aid is given to low-income countries with a good intention, however exploring how this well-intented aid does not actually end up helping out the poor countries after all. The verdict that this paper reaches, seems to me a justifiable one.
Moving on to Source 3, this blog from Forbes by author Anne Field also supports the statement that I have just discovered in Source 3; namely that aid needs to be provided to developing countries in a different way than just by giving money. This item demonstrates the effect of its value by showing an insight to the plans the Development Impact Bond (DIB), which are based on SIB’s (Social Impact Bonds), have made. The organisations aim to invest in education for children in India, and then keep track of how this investment helps the development of education.
Even though the content of this blog does provide some information that seems reliable, including arguments which are backed up with factual evidence, the lay-out of the website makes it seem like an unreliable source to gain data from.
The page shows many advertises and even before the article starts it asks to share the page on several social media like Outlook, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google. Another thing that I find very odd is that the article does not end at any point. Even after the blog is finished, the site continues to list links to other features and then prolongs to a different writing. This process is repeated endlessly and makes the piece look very chaotic. I find it very difficult to presume the given information true of a website that has such a small focus on its main article.
Next we proceed to Source 4, this paper deals with the ethical questions that arise around giving foreign aid. The paper points out that, even in this perspective, giving aid is not a unselfish deed. Instead, aid and donations create a hierarchy between the people who give aid versus those who receive it. The paper considers foreign aid a (as a) gift; and afterwards it (goes on to) state(s) that anyone who gives this gift, whether it may be a country or an individual, gets a little bit of power. This happens because the ones receiving the gift sense a feeling of repayment, and therefore this hierarchy in which the receivers stand lower eventuates.
Evidently, the hierarchy created as a result of giving financial aid is not the main goal of giving the gift, so according to this source, western countries should not provide financial aid to developing countries.
I find this source very reliable, partly because it is an academical paper, (contrary to the blog that I analysed before) and therefore there is not much room for any advertisements or other unnecassary matters to be there. On top of that, I see that the source confronts its question very objectively. I have found evidence for what has been stated. In addition, the arguments are free of logical fallacies. The sources which have been used in the work are also given and I can look them up again if I want to. All these reasons make this writing seem a very trustworthy source to me.
Source 5 is an –opinion—by Jeffrey D.Sachs, a ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
The author of the source is strongly in favor of giving foreign aid. The author admits: ”My own support for foreign assistance is based on morality.”
Dealing with the question that foreign aid can be demeaning and not effective at all, the author gets back at: ”some aid is wasted and other aid is used brilliantly.” The source does discuss the questionable utility of foreign aid, but the emphasis is put on how beneficial aid can be for both aid-recipients and for those countries who give aid.
The author states that giving help to the poor is a duty for the rich. The source also concludes that the portion of aid that is given is very small, but it can be very effective and crucial for some people and countries, who lack even the basic needs in life, like healthcare.
I am a little bit in doubt about the reliabilty of this source.
On the one hand, I feel like this article is biased as the author writes against the policies of Donald Trump a number of times. So, even if there would be something that Trump is doing good regarding foriegn aid, this source does not mention how Trump effectively uses foreign aid (if he does so).
Secondly, the author only goes on about the benefits of aid, and there are little points where the writer regards the failures of it as well.
However, as the paper is written from the ethical perspective, it is maybe logical that the financial loss of monetary aid is not discussed here, and thus there is no reason for the author to consider the other side of his point of view.
Furthermore, this is an item from the Boston Globe, which is a respected British newspaper, so I expect its article to be a reliable source. Then again, it is also known that the Boston Globe is a little bit left-centre biased, so what is said may not be completely objective.
Indeed, even in this item I can find that the delivery is left-centred, as a right biased newspaper would be strongly against the giving of financial aid to developing countries.
All-in all, I assume this source to be a reliable source, besides it being a little bit left centre biased, because the writer is still able to prove his opinion with objective facts and in the bigger picture, Boston Globe is a paper of which its factual reporting is considered high in general.
Lastly I will have a look at Source 6, which is an opinion by Paul Collier under the subheading ‘religion and ethics’. Yet again, this is a source written from the ethical perspective of giving foreign aid that strongly argues in favour of donating and stimulating countries to grow. The source analyses the history of foreign aid and goes on to prove its point by providing evidence that shows all the times that foreign aid has worked successfully. Just once does the author mention the failure of financial aid as well, but then immediately he refutes this minor detail and continues to go on about aid being beneficial.
I find the reliability of this opinion very low. I have read that this article is only focussing on one side, it barely discusses the other side of the issue, namely the ethic that maybe giving financial aid is refraining the developing countries to grow. This article has made a point, and after that it has only supported evidence to show that its statement is true. This gives me the impression that the author is trying to influence the thoughts of the public, which is what makes this source seem unreliable to me.