Where do the Funds Go?-Julia Norman

To reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, it is estimated to be between $40-$60 billion a year in loans from organizations such the World Bank and the IMF. This is not even sufficient funds for countries to be able to reform their policies and improve the goals the country is trying to reach. The World Bank strives to provide loans to countries to improve their standard of living in order to build better capital programs and aims to reduce poverty. Although in theory loans are morally good, there are downfalls to not only the World Bank, but also other loan and money agencies. 

Loans provide opportunity for international development to occur. International development has been a hot topic for decades. One of the main focuses was the Malaria epidemic in Sub –Saharan Africa. Like many other topics, there are both pros and cons to the way the issue is addressed and how funds were allocated. For an example, during the malaria crisis in the sub-Saharan Africa, the west failed to provide medicine and nets to people who needed them, however, spent 2.3 trillion dollars on foreign aid to help the issue. Although there were loans, the proper resources were not being provided. William Easterly in his book White Man’s Burden, brings up the idea of planners versus searchers. He argues the point that although aid is beneficial, there needs to be accountability that the aid is actually helping people. By focusing on specific goals, international development organizations believe that they are able to accomplish more. International Development organizations would likely side to an extent with Sachs and Easterly. Aid does not always get used to its potential.

From the perspective of an international development organization, limiting the number of “Big Aid”goals such as the Millenium Development Goals has some benefits. Setting priorities is key being successful. Matt Ridley in his article “Smart Aid for the World’s Poor”, discusses in 2015 the United Nations will choose a list of developmental goals for the world to meet by the year 2030.By only picking a few topics to focus on, the United Nations is hoping to be able to reach its goals.

Not only does focusing on only a few goals matter to some international development organizations, but also the way the plan is carried out. Easterly describes that one of the biggest problems with foreign aid is the ideal mindset that it will fix all of the world’s issues. He asserts “with specialization on small number of tasks and the fear and reward induced by independent evaluation, maybe agents of aid will be willing to keep exploring different means of a problem”. A benefit to countries limiting their goals, they are able to focus their resources. With an open mind and no set plan, international development can be improved.

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