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Poverty And Corruption: Why African Foreign Aid Needs To Change

1685 words - 7 pages

Ever since World War II, developed countries have been financing the economies of third world countries. Be it from a natural disaster or from the aftermath of war, humans tend to feel morally obligated to help those in need. Although some foreign aid is successful, most notably the Marshal Plan which resurrected many European Countries after the second World War, most foreign aid leads to corruption and the country in need falling deeper into deficit, dragging many of it’s people down into poverty. This has been the case so far with foreign aid to africa and under the current circumstances, appears to be a problem in the foreseeable future. The two most prominent figures surrounding the argument of aid is Jeffrey Sachs, who argues that aid has helped many countries come out of poverty, and Dambisa Moyo, who argues that aid has done nothing but lead to more corruption and poverty in third world African countries. Africa needs conditional aid While some people argue that foreign aid to Africa is the force needed to bring the majority of Africa out of poverty, Africa needs a different kind of aid, developmental assistance to help reduce poverty and corruption.

Africa currently is facing its worst poverty per capita in the past forty years and this is due to the influx of foreign aid in that period of time. In the 1970’s, the poverty per capita in Africa was one in every ten people, nowadays seven out of every ten people are living below the poverty line. The 1970’s was also the time when foreign aid began to copiously flow into Africa. This was due to the philanthropic work of many celebrities which influenced the public to join the giving and help save Africa. In 1985 in London’s Wembley Stadium, a sixteen hour long concert for aid was help, raising millions of dollars for Ethiopia. The aid led to corruption in the receiving countries which only created a greater division of wealth and increased the poverty in Africa.

Though some aid has been successful, aid in general does not help develop a countries economy. Foreign has only been very successful once before and that was the Marshal Plan, which distributed thirteen billion dollars between about seventeen European, post World War II, countries over the course of four years. This worked because it was a set amount of money over a short period of time. The government's of the countries knew that they were not going to receive any more aid after the four years and that they had that time to politically and economically organize their country. Pro aid advocates argue that countries have “graduated” from aid prosperously and that in the future this will occur to many African countries, but there has not been any true success stories regarding African aid yet. Aid in the past to Africa has not made enough of an impact for the current system of aid to be kept in existence.

The two faces of the aid argument are Jeffrey Sachs, who argues for foreign aid, and Dambisa Moyo, who is a huge adversary...

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