Yun Simpson – Aid and Development

We often talk about “aid” and “development” synonymously. When one thinks about development, we automatically think about how much the cost would be. While money is obviously an important and integral factor for development, it is not the only factor. If money were the only factor, then Sachs would be correct in saying that we could end poverty with the money we have in the world[1], but we still have not done so. This is because governments, policy, population, and plethora of other factors can make a difference in a developing country.

One major factor is the governments involved. Corrupt governments can often stop or intercept the aid given to their country. This is a common problem that nations face. But there is another side to governments and aid. International affairs require deal making between states. With this deals, money is often compromised. States will make deals about giving aid under certain circumstances. For example, the U.S. may decide to continue aid to a state if they sign a treaty. This means the aid could be discontinued if the state decides not to comply. So while states may have money to give aid, they may choose not to.

Even when governments comply and send aid to the appropriate locations, the aid may not help the population become self-sustaining. For example, if someone were to give a state money for AIDS medication, it may treat people who are sick, but it will not prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. While money for medication is important, education on prevention of the spread of HIV would be helpful to the situation.

This being said putting a limit on things like the Millennial goals could end up helping developing countries because there will be an incentive to include other parts of development other than money. For example, policy change that does not allow discrimination according to gender along with giving micro loans to women would give money to the appropriate people while enforcing policy for the protection of the women who would be acting on it. All in all, we must remember that there are more factors than just money. We must remember to try to change policies and better relations between states, so we can try to assist developing countries in succeeding.

[1] http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/01/23/aid_amnesia

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