2 thoughts on “Debate: Does foreign aid work?”

  1. Posted 04/12/2018 at 23:10 | Permalink

    I don’t like either of the arguments advanced. Morgan seems to conflate Foreign Aid with governmental Foreign Aid, and Nerissa seems to think that domestic governmental priorities should be considered.
    Surely the free market part or philanthropic part of foreign aid ( typically workers sending remittances to their home countries ) should get some analysis here from Morgan, after all it seems to exceed governmental foreign aid. And if domestic priorities are important ( I don’t think so, but the argument is being advanced ) then Nerissa needs to consider the case for banning or taxing foreign remittances.
    No. For me, governmental foreign aid needs to be decoupled from foreign aid in general and then further broken down into work on communicable diseases ( clearly an externality ), humanitarian or disaster relief, and governmental development aid in general. And then an analysis done as to whether each makes the recipient countries more prosperous. I think that Montalvo, Reynal-Querol, and Besley have already done the analysis, and on development aid it looks bad.

  2. Posted 10/12/2018 at 07:12 | Permalink

    We definitely should not give up on the idea of foreign aid because we know that helping poorer countries can help increase their GDP per capita and gain more wealth, which is beneficial to wealthier nations.

    Foreign aid, in fact, does work, but it does depend on how the help is given. Hans Rosling himself argues that “extreme poverty produces diseases.” Therefore, the majority can easily assume that providing wealth and money to a third world country in extreme poverty would be the solution. However, it must be noted that wealthier countries have access to educational opportunities, leisure, etc, meaning that they are also much likely more politically stable and have fewer conflicts. On the other hand, poor nations usually lack what wealthier countries have, so they are more likely to have corrupt political systems that can potentially misuse the given funds. This is exactly why in the end people from wealthier nations do not see the purpose. Nerissa Chesterfield argues that “much of the aid given to countries … makes the rich richer, the poor poorer and helps entrench corrupt regimes, while failing to improve the living conditions of millions below the poverty line.”However, Chesterfield is making her argument based on the fund being given directly to the government.

    Morgan Schondelmeier makes a better point that “there simply is not enough knowledge available to Western powers to determine what is best for local communities without engaging from the bottom up,” emphasizing that simply handing over funds is not sufficient enough.

    For example, the ELIMIN8 Project by UNICEF focuses on fundraising money in order to provide $1.80 shots that will prevent maternal and neonatal tetanus. There clearly has been a success from this, as this project has successfully eliminated the disease in 45 countries, including many third world countries. This is the appropriate way to aid other countries, where there is direct interaction within need and the local community.

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