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The Forum > Article Comments > Underdevelopment and aid: search for a right balance - Part I > Comments

Underdevelopment and aid: search for a right balance - Part I : Comments

By Gustav Ranis, published 14/11/2008

Europe and the US could fine-tune aid programs, working closely with recipients, to achieve multiple goals.

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Why should Europe and the US give anything? It makes me so angry when you hear people talking like this, as though the west is responsible for the wellbeing of others. It's almost like a hidden racism, implying whitey is the responsible one and his coloured brothers are merely racist, tribal freaks who can't get over the fact that they shouldn't kill their neighbour because he's a Sunni and not a Shiite, or a Hutu and not a Tutzi.

The west should undergoe an aid program much bigger than the ones being proposed, it should be of sending in a combined western military to topple the vile, corrupt, tribal governments in Africa, the middle-east, and much of Asia, and replacing them in our image.

If we are truly the older brother (which we are) we ought to do what's best for the human family. Imagine how you'd feel if you were born in some dump in Africa.

We owe it to them.

If you ask me, all the non-west (except for Asia - which offers only workers, no inventions for the benefit of mankind) offers is tribalism, violence, drugs, and ethnic wars.

We've given money heaps of times, they buy ferrari's while their people starve - corruption is the norm in the non-west. It's bad here still, but it's blantanly in the open everywhere else.

They have no good will, which is why their countries are all tribal backward dumps.
Posted by Benjam1n, Sunday, 16 November 2008 6:27:02 AM
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I appreciate the overview of the international aid structure and its main problems. Certainly interesting stuff.

But while the author is searching for the right balance, I feel that the most important aspect balance has been overlooked.

This is to supply aid that directs countries towards a sustainable future. That is, aid that directly addresses birthrates in countries where this is needed, which is just about every country that needs aid, so that stable populations can be reached, which can be supported by the particular country’s resource base.

Aid is very much directed at providing better food, healthcare and education…all of which is designed to raise the quality of life of the current populace, without too much thought of the future. Many aid-workers would argue that this increased quality of life, if successful, will translate into a lowering of the birthrate. Many others probably don’t think about that at all and are just interested in the immediacy of helping desperate people.

It’s not good enough. A profound effort needs to be put into greatly reducing population growth right now…doesn’t it? Extremely difficult it might be, but that’s no excuse for not trying our damnedest to do it. At least 50% of all aid effort needs to go directly into it.

Throughout the history of aid and indeed the throughout the history of agriculture and medicine, our efforts have resulted in one thing; a huge reduction in infant mortality and a huge acceleration in population growth…with very grave consequences.

In fact, this one-sided nature of aid has perpetrated and greatly magnified the need for aid!

Of course, it would help tremendously if the main donor countries had their own houses in order with respect to stable populations and political/economic paradigms centred on sustainability.
Posted by Ludwig, Sunday, 16 November 2008 8:40:18 AM
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Ludwig’s post has got to the nub of the issue.

In support of it, I ask how can the circumstances of a society be expected to improve while children’s numbers are beyond its ability to adequately foster – as expressed in this article from the Phillippines:

November 12, 2008
Source: Agence France Presse
MANILA -- A senior United Nations official and a cabinet minister called on the Philippine government Wednesday to take steps to control the country's population growth, despite fierce opposition from the Catholic church.
Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral called for the passage of the much-delayed Reproductive Health Care Act and urged President Gloria Arroyo to support the bill, despite her previous opposition to family planning.
"We cannot continue to be in a culture of denial... stubbornly clinging to beliefs which are detrimental to our country's progress," Cabral told a public forum on population growth.
The Philippine population now stands at around 90 million, with an annual growth rate of 2.04 percent, one of the highest in Asia and above the government's target of 1.9 percent, she warned.
Cabral said it was "crucial" to pass the health care act, which has been stalled in Congress due largely to pressure on legislators from the dominant Catholic church, which opposes all forms of artificial contraception.
Under the proposed law the state would have to fund a population programme that would teach schoolchildren and couples intending to marry about different methods of contraception.
It would also mean government hospitals offering contraceptives, vasectomies and tubal ligations, an operation that blocks the fallopian tubes.
Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, a staunch Catholic, has previously said she is opposed to artificial contraceptives and has failed to implement a national programme for their distribution.
Posted by colinsett, Sunday, 16 November 2008 9:26:59 AM
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