Since centuries, the world is divided into rich and poor countries, referred today as developed and developing countries respectively. However since a few decades, along with the acceleration of technological progress, developed countries are witnessing rapid economic development, thus growing wealthier, while the conditions of poor countries are worsening and they are depending heavily on debts which have attained unbearable proportions. Consequently the gap between rich and poor countries has greatly widened with time.
While rich nations are enjoying high standard of living, with safe environment, quality health services, good education, good social support and high employability, the poor nations have been cursed with eternal fight for survival and struggle against poverty, mal nutrition and lack of other basic necessities to even satisfy the physiological needs. A recent World Bank Study has revealed that the average income in twenty richest countries of the World is thirty-seven times that of twenty poorest ones.
In the circumstances, whether richer developed nations should help and give support to developing and poorer nations has sparked a spirited debate. A new study of the United Nations has also reported that rich countries should help poor nations develop alternatives to fossil fuel as well as cutting their own emissions if the world is to tackle climate change and ensure that sustainable development is maintained. The wealthy nations would have to help and assist poorer nations develop low carbon technology and also pay poor countries to halt deforestation.
Any environmental deterioration will affect the whole planet and even the rich countries will not be spared. Some thinkers advocate that wealthy countries has a duty to help poor nations because every human being should be given same right of livelihood, all men having been created equal. Mr. Clinton, as described by Associated Press, pointed out that “The people in Africa are no different from people in America”. Thus their treatment should be similar. Some people opine that rich countries have no other alternative than to help poor countries, failing which, their possibility to remain wealth may be jeopardized.
Poor countries represent a large market potential and their demand can become effective only if they have the necessary purchasing power. Developed countries have already exploited the markets where people have the necessary means to pay for their consumption. Therefore, to ensure their continued development, they have to imperatively capture new markets. Thus, they have to assist poor countries out of poverty and enable them to have the required means to purchase and consume their produce. There are some areas where production of goods and services in these developing countries are cheaper and thus creates competitive advantage.
Indian BPO’s and manufacture of cars in South Korea can be cited as examples. Moreover there is a school of thought which is of the view that rich countries have a moral and ethical obligation to help poor nations as they are, to a large extent , responsible to their plight le. Tudor monarchs of England had, in the 16th Centuries realized that manufacturing industry was the means to create sustainable wealth. They set about an enabling environment to foster manufacturing. Thus, rich countries became wealthy by practicing activist and interventionist policies.
They had put up trade barriers to the importation of foreign manufacture. They had banned export of raw materials needed and eased the procedures to import raw materials. They halted transfer of technology by banning export of machinery. During the colonial period the colonial powers banned their colonies from engaging in manufacturing. The Dandi March serves as a typical illustration. These colonies were left to produce only raw materials for the manufacturing sector in the colonist home countries. The colonies also provided captive markets for the colonists manufacturers.
Besides, the slaves provided cheap labour for the colonists to develop their businesses and accelerate the process of enrichment. To be able to maintain power and authority in the colonies, the colonial not only corrupted the native rulers but were busy creating strategies to divide the local population, the sequel of which is still apparent in most colonies, where civil wars between clans have become a normal phenomenon. With such historical backgrounds, these countries have remained backward, with high level of poverty and social unrest.
To correct their past wrong doings, it is the obligation of the rich nations to help poor countries come out of their present plight. However there are some people who believe that it is the responsibility of the poor countries to come out of their present plight. They are of the view that most of problems in poor countries are because of political instability and social unrest. These countries are generally characterized by dictatorial government and looting of national wealth by the rulers. They enrich themselves while their people are deprived of basic necessities and even potable water. Zimbabwe is a typical example.
Some people feel that rich countries expropriate from their citizens in the form involuntary tax to help poor people. Thus, force is used, in the form laws, to collect revenue which in turn are used to help poor nations. It is also claimed it is an inefficient means of spending other people’s money on poor countries because the government does not spend it as wisely that those people would themselves. Moreover, since people maintain that recipient governments representatives, that is, head of States use the money for their personal enrichment and nothing reaches the groups that were targeted the whole purpose of aids is therefore defeated.
From the above, it is important to ensure that all help and assistance to poor countries should have the clear objective of making the life of the people better. Moreover aids should create the necessary infra-structure to remove the people from the spiral of poverty, that is no education results in no employability, leads to no income which ends in malnutrition and disease which again results in no work etc. Thus aids should be in the form of school building, provision of health services.
Besides appropriate actions should be encouraged for nation building to halt social contest. With education, political turmoil may be expected to cease. As these countries are endowed with minerals and other raw materials from richer countries may be tempted to set up in these countries, creating possibilities of jobs and income and also consumption. Moreover some people may also emerge as entrepreneurs and eventually the countries will eventually prosper.