U. S Foreign Aid to Africa Some people speak against U. S foreign aid being sent to Africa for humanitarian reasons. Others speak out in favor of such actions. All of us have seen the news tickers with vital headlines about “people being devastated by droughts in Zimbabwe and unhygienic water in Sudan”, but what is their government doing about it. Personally, I’ve asked myself several founded inquiries about where is this foreign aid going to and what are some of the achievements being made. I’ve acquired over time well-built knowledge in relation to the United Nations and the work they perform globally to promote stability and development.
I will be bringing in several valid arguments to get to the bottom of this controversial subject of U. S foreign aid in Africa. Including but not limited to, the history of U. S Foreign aid in Africa, violence in Africa, corrupted governments and the future commitment of U. S Foreign Aid to Africa. Foreign aid is described as a voluntary transfer of resources from one country to another, given at least partly with the objective of benefiting the recipient country. This also includes humanitarian assistance and altruism. “In total dollars the United States gives a large amount of foreign aid, as a percentage of U.
S. gross domestic product U. S. foreign aid appears stingy compared with aid given by other industrialized nations. ” (FAD, Par 10) Understanding foreign aid is decisive, because for 40 years, U. S. foreign aid has been judged by its intentions, not its results. Foreign aid programs have been perpetuated and expanded not because they have succeeded, but because giving foreign aid still seems like a fine idea. In September 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Foreign Assistance Act, which established the U. S.
Agency for International Development and set the framework for American foreign aid globally. Since its creation, the foundation of America’s foreign assistance has articulated 140 goals and 400 specific directives based on its precepts, but no clear or coordinated methods for their implementation. But foreign aid has hardly ever done anything that countries could not have done for themselves. In fact, it has often encouraged the recipient governments’ worst tendencies, helping to underwrite programs and policies that have starved thousands of people and derailed struggling economies.
You might remember these countries: Algeria, Burundi, Congo (Kinshasa), Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda ,Zambia and Zimbabwe. All of these countries have something in common. They all receive foreign aid from NGO’s, and the U. S Government. Nairobi, Kenya, the largest slum in Africa. There is a suburb in Nairobi called Kiberia. Kiberia is home to more than one million people, who eke out a living in an area of about one square mile-roughly 75% the size of New York’s Central Park.
It is a sea of aluminum and cardboard shacks that forgotten families call home. What is incredibly disappointing is the fact that just a few yards from Kibera stands the headquarters of the United Nations’ agency for human settlements, which with an annual budget of millions of dollars, is mandated to “promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. ” Kibera festers in Kenya, a country that has one of the highest ratios of development workers per capita.
It is estimated the United States provided Kenya with 701. 642 million dollars during the fiscal year 2009. There were 5 areas, in which the United States provided foreign aid to Kenya. They were Peace and Security, Governing justly and democratically, investing in people (health, education, social and economic services and protection for vulnerable populations), Economic growth and Humanitarian assistance. To highlight, Peace and security in Kenya and Africa must be first studied and be understood by all people.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), “Nearly 700 people are believed to have been killed in the violence, which first began after Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner over opposition leader Raila Odinga in the December 2007 elections. The crisis has also forced some 255,000 to flee their homes. ” (Kenya, UNNewsCentre) This mainly means ethnic and tribal groups have been in the front lines of clashes established by political leaders in their quests for power. The advent of democracy has not changed the aims of politics, but simply shifted the method of struggle.
It goes back to the point of fraudulent governments. To my own understanding, the state of affairs is not improving at all in Africa, if foreign aid by the United States continues. The cases of hostility and terrorist activity are still intact and growing. I’ve done some research into the Horn of Africa and I’ve found since the collapse of Siad Barre’s regime in 1991, there have been several foreign incursions. Every single one of them exacerbated the conflict by increasing radicalisation and political polarisation. They reduced chances for political dialogue and helped militant groups to recruit.
Another project, which I can, assured you never heard of is the Operation Mils Mopti in Mali. Operation Mils Mopti is a typical case of U. S Foreign Aid to the African agricultural assistance Agency. In 1976, AID launched a project to boost food production and marketing in the Mils Mopti area of Mali. AID plowed over $10 million into this project, which included the usual development array of applied research, more tools and fertilizer for farmers, better roads, and better grain marketing. Almost everything went wrong, but AID kept financing the program long after its failure was evident.
AID paid for the building of eighteen warehouses, but five were not built, three were not finished, three collapsed, two had their roofs blown off, and three more quickly crumbled owing to “serious structural deficiencies. ” Fifty-four open wells with contaminated water were to be sanitized, but only nine were actually improved. A hundred mills for grinding grain were to be constructed; the project managers built and tested one mill, then gave up. The road-improvement project repaired less than one-quarter of the roads scheduled for upgrading. Isn’t that marvelous?
The prospect outlook for U. S foreign Aid abroad according to 2010 Budget for the U. S Government is as follow, there will be a 10 percent increase on U. S Foreign Aid and the State Department Budget will get a hefty 51. 75 billion dollars in the fiscal year 2010. What the U. S State Department Budget goals are, an estimated $8 billion increase in the annual outlay to the International Monetary Fund, full funding for scheduled payments to the World Bank, plus “a portion of the outstanding arrears to reinforce the U. S. commitment to play a leadership in these institutions. , Increases non-military aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan, to counter the resurgence of the Taliban, Increased funding, at an unspecified amount, for global health programs, including AIDS and family planning, Support for United Nations peace keeping activities, and a promise to meet financial commitments “to the United Nations and other international organizations that support a wide range of U. S. national security, foreign policy, and economic goals. ” furthermore, more funding for international programs on climate change, agriculture, and the Peace Corps.
As a result, there will also be additional counterterrorism and anti-nuclear proliferation funding. Who are constantly receiving aid? To my understanding, a steady stream of “free” money is a wonderful way to keep an unproductive or simply bad government in power. As aid pours in, there is nothing more for the government to do; it doesn’t need to raise taxes, and as long as it pays the army, it doesn’t have to take account of its disgruntled citizens. No matter that its citizens are disenfranchised (as with no taxation there can be no representation). Sounds familiar?
All the government really needs to do is to court and cater to its foreign donors to stay in power. Did you know that Africa remains the most unstable continent in the world, beset by civil strife and war? Since 1996, 11 countries have been embroiled in civil wars. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in the 1990s, “Africa had more wars than the rest of the world combined. ” (Bhagwati, P 6) I personally think, “foreign aid is a waste of time. ” Well, how do you make foreign aid work? By implementing a system in the first place that works.
Compare this with the current practice in development aid; as we have seen, what goes for best practice is often not particularly well founded. The Annual World Development Report is an indication of what goes for best practice. The report contains some high-level concept, like decentralization or education for girls in Kenya, Africa. The U. S. government must advocate with and not on behalf of African governments in designing development programs that will work, taking into account the regional impact of what is designed. We cannot be expecting African governments to feel obliged to a sketch they had no part in creating.
Lending a hand is only precious if it meets the real need as perceived by those requiring help. In close, the good news is we know what works; what delivers growth and reduces poverty. We’ve seen the history of U. S Foreign Aid, future outlooks of U. S Foreign Aid, violence in Africa and how tainted government can sit and do nothing for their own people. We also acknowledge, that economies that rely on open-ended commitments of aid almost universally fail, and those that do not depend on aid succeed. The latter is true for economically successful countries such as China, India and even closer to home, in South Africa and Botswana.
Their strategy of development finance emphasizes the important role of entrepreneurship and markets over a staid aid-system of development that preaches hand-outs. Cited Works Bhagwati, Jagdish. “Banned Aid. ” Foreign Affairs. February 2010. April 1 2010 ;http://www. foreignaffairs. com/articles/65905/jagdish-bhagwati/banned-aid; Carbone, Maurizio. The European Union and International Development: the politics of foreign aid. London: New York, Routledge, 2007 Farrar, Straus G. Moyo, Dambisa. Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa. 2009, 208 pp. “Foreign Affairs and Defense. University of Austin, Texas. 2009. April 1 2010 ; http://www. laits. utexas. edu/gov310/FAD/glossary. html ; Kenya: UN reports sharp deterioration in security, humanitarian situation. UNNewsCentre. January 28 2008. April 11, 2010 ;http://www. un. org/apps/news/story. asp? NewsID=25438;Cr=kenya;Cr1; Hamilton, Edward K. America’s Global Interest. New York City: NY, W. W. Norton ; Company, 1989. Lancaster, Carol. Foreign Aid: Diplomacy, Development, Domestic Politics. Chicago: IL, University of Chicago Press, 2007. Lancaster, Carol and Van, Ann. Organizing U. S. oreign aid: confronting the challenges of the twenty-first century. Washington, D. C. : Brookings Institution Press, c2005. 1 April 2010 ; http://catalog. linccweb. org/F/PAEEGP7IXEP99LSLBK3AA7HGYP93I463A2YX6Y2IXL5YME5FH8-12708? func=full-set-set;set_number=020198;set_entry=000017;format=999; Schiller, Bradley R. The economics of poverty and discrimination. Upper Saddle River: NJ, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2008 Schoenbaum, David. The United States and the State of Israel. Oxford: NY, Oxford University press. 1993. Savelle, Max. The Origins of American Diplomacy. New York: New York, The Macmillan Company, 1967.