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Biju P R (Government Brennen College, Thalassery, Kerala) and Gayathri O. (Government College Madappally). Teaches Political Science at Government Colleges in Kerala. We are just a blog!

Current research interest centres on the 'interfaces between social media and political public' in India. 'Business and Politics (here a book on 'Politics of Outsourcing' under writing and on hunt for a publisher) is our favourite research area. Celebrity Culture and the  Political Class - is the next project by 2016. Presently writing two books (Peer Review), one is 'Clicking Alone': myth of social media politics and that is already completed. The second book is titled Connective Politics. mechanics of protest and change that is completed and in the press for peer review. We have extensive publication on the same theme in academic journals and popular websites.

We are also working on a book on Women's Movement and Identity Politics in Kerala by 2015 (Titled- Party women: women's movement decoded)

Although, active academic bloggers,  blogs only on academic topics currently in this blog (http://bijugayu.blogspot.in/). To know more about our creative writings, publications, research works, conferences, web article links, etc., please go to our blog link (http://bijugayu.wordpress.com/). 

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Discuss some of the key factors that are responsible for the non realization of social economic development through foreign aid? Essay Three






Aid is money, projects, food, medical care, programmes etc which is specified to help countries in difficult situations. In fact there are three main forms of aid; emergency, humanitarian, and economic, aid. Reports reveal that aid money contributes up to 40 per cent of most African countries national budgets and it also goes on to say that African has received over 500 billion dollars in economic aid for the past few decades (Sikombe March 13, 2013).
Foreign aid, the international transfer of capital, goods, or services from a country or International Organizations for the benefit of the recipient country or its population. Aid can be economic, military, or emergency humanitarian (e.g., aid given following natural disasters) reads Britannica encyclopedia[1]. Also Dictionary.com defines it as economic, technical, or military aid given by one nation to another for purposes of relief and rehabilitation, for economic stabilization, or for mutual defense[2].
There are very interesting statistice about aid and its non-re;osation in Africa in respect of social and economic development. For instances; the amount of aid given to Africa is put at $30bn while corruption alone costs $148bn a year says George Ogunbande in an Internet post[3] . at the same time many people argue that for the past 60 years around, Africa has received $1 trillion in aid. That means pouring water into a leaking basket and was helping these corrupt politicians and establishment increase illicit wealth in the name of teeming millions. Africa has been designing failed projects that will continually keep these African countries in the Dark Age and bottom cracks. Aid seems something like sending high protein biscuits to countries experiencing famine and drought; expecting that these biscuits will work a fantastic miracle the next day altogether.
Bigger chunk of the foreign aid to Africa received just end up in private bank accounts of some ‘vested interest’ in foreign lands under fake names and so on. In Africa; foreign Aid fuels corruption, fires war, starts conflicts, pays to kill innocent people especially the poor and the weak, and spreads dependence on foreign aid unnecessarily with out developing self relaince. This is how foreign Aid destroys Africa in full swing. Foreign aid turns African governments into monsters and causes them to destroy the very own people they were supposed to be protecting, promoting and helping. Many African leaders stay in power for decades just because they receive free aid money to pay the military and private killing machines to enable them remain in power forever with out being challenged by people.
More to the point, turning governments into Frankenstein, monsters and devils, foreign aid brings in a lot of other negative incentives and bad tendencies. Outside people notice Africans as even poorer just because they give food to Africa in the form of aid. In short, Poverty is getting worse and innocent people continue to die while African leaders continue to pile billions of dollars in private bank accounts in foreign lands and that is because foreign aid to an African government is free-money, unaacounted, and they need not give any account and balance statement for this huge amount being offered. Put in some other way, foreign aid disenfranchises the poor African only because pitiable and deplorable Africans are not able to hold their governments accountable and responsible. One other very negative aspect of Foreign aid in Africa countries is that, altogether it discourages investment, self-reliance, creativity and entrepreneurship[4].
Aid is prominently seems to pour in to Affric in three main forms-Military, Humanitarian and Official Development Assistance.

Problems of the Military Aid

The military aid was higly problematic. It was used by the United States until 1957 when they stopped adding it to their aid figure. Quite often, Military aid is one of the most intolerable and unacceptable forms of aid in present history, that majority of these aids help the dictator in Africa suppress its people and its aspiration for freedom, democracy and development.  Just see for instance, uprising in Egypt had seen that the government used various military tanks to oppress and expel the people and they were killed in this process by such arms and ammunitions.  Quite terribly these military tanks, arms and weapons were received from the international community especially military industrial complex.
Moreover, Military aid like NATO were sent to countries like Libya etc  on March19, 2011 that the main reason why this was done was to kill or bring to justice the regime of Moammar Gadhafi who had been ruling for 42years (1969-2011). Far more convincing is that innocent citizens were killed in this process with out any mercy. There were some deliberate and calculated missile attacks on citizens in the pretence of expelling Gadhafi from power. So many atrocities were committed by the NATO forces in which UN felt it was acceptable because of one man and aid has been a platform for dominating Africa by Western imperial forces.

Problems of the Humanitarian aid

Another important distortion due to aid that is envisaged by Africa is that of humanitarian aid. That material or logistic assistance provided for human purposes are often provided during natural disaster, famines, wars and drought; that which is also known as man-made disaster.  Therefore, it sure that when this happens, obviously the international communities, vociferously rush in with rescue materials like blanket, health care, high protein biscuits , clothe and so on so forth until they feel they have received enough by depleting and exploiting, then the countries with humanitarian purposes  move on to another country, quite discordant and deforming.
Sincerely and honestly, it is sure that African dictators have become adamant  and unbending to either relinquish or handover power or share the power with the opposition. It is evident that Dictatorship has crippled the African continent and  thereby making the people dependent on aids from Western countries. For example the Somalia famine in 2011has seen  millions of people across East Africa were affected by one of the worst food crises in recent memory frowning entire continent. In fact Somalia was hit the hardest and somber. On 20th of July, surprisingly the UN formally declared famine in two regions of Southern Somalia that is Southern Bakool and Lower Shabelle altogether mean time. Two months later, of course  it increased that number to six shocking every one. Quite a relief, the UN officially declared the famine over in February 2012; but warned that millions are still in need of assistance and aid[5].
So the problem with this aid is that the donors do not care about the region and people. In fact their aim is to dump what they have planned and designed for the people and region, whether it is relevant at that point in time or not. In the late 1970s and late 1990s, the Norwegians went to Kenya to help the Turkana tribe people in form aid. They built a fish freezing plant for them and when they finished the plant; quite interestingly they discovered that the Turkana tribes do not fish; instead often they raise goats[6].
Problems of Official Development Assistance
The official development assistance (ODA) is a phrase invented by the Development of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to measure aid and indicate its various implications. In fact, The DAC first used the term in 1969. Ever since, it is broadly and widely used by academics and journalists as a convenient indicator of international aid flow to poor income countries. Obviously, it includes some loans given to these countries for assistance in development purposes. With out any doubt, this is the best aid amongst the three types of aids. The loans are given to these nations to help improve certain sectors of their economy and thereby providing jobs and various infrastructures for the benefit of all citizen and weaker sections.

Foreign aid has usually and traditionally been seen as something provisional that can only complement existing national resources and efforts of a struggling nation to come out if its bad signs. Yet, it seems more and more aid has acquired something of a permanent nature and affects like a cancer cell. In many African   countries nonetheless, it has even become a considerable force in the national economy and making those countries more or less completely dependent on foreign aid for all its domestic economy. Although its major objective has been and continues to be the fighting of poverty by supporting economic growth and development in the least-developed countries of the world, few are the leaders like filmmaker Sembene and President Wade, and African and otherwise fir that matter, who have realized that aid alone cannot ensure economic growth and sustainability, and that this dependence on outside sources of revenue can be only detrimental to the goal of long term sustainable development and economic progress. Hitherto, studies have begun to show that there is little positive connection between foreign aid, growth, sustainability and development. Most of African region continues to fall behind the rest of the world by virtually any measure despite prolonged aid efforts and work, but to what extent are foreign aid and investment the source of this demise, seems confusing? Notwithstanding the growing world wide disillusionment with the performance of aid, the farmore frowning aspect is trying to show that foreign aid is the source of this general economic demise or to analyze the extent to which aid works[7].
In rural agriculture, in health care, in economic planning, in employment generation, in food assistance, and in gender sensitization or so more, the foreign aid has routinely failed to benefit the poor people of the world. Obviously, the case of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the U.S. Agency for International Development has dotted many countryside with ‘white elephants’ that is; near-empty convention centers,  idle cement plants and abandoned roads; perhaps the biggest white elephant of them all may be a growing phalanx of increasingly corrupt, intrusive, and overpaid bureaucrats and governmental machinery (Bovard, January 31, 1986).
Instead of breaking the "endless cycle of poverty," foreign aid has become the opiate of the Third World. AID and other donors have encouraged Third World governments to rely on handouts instead of on themselves for development. No matter how irresponsible, corrupt, or oppressive a Third World government may be, there is always some Western government or international agency anxious to supply it with a few more million dollars. By subsidizing political irresponsibility and pernicious policies, foreign aid ill serves the world's poor[8].
Aid cannot be blamed for all the slip-up and blemishes made in the projects it bankrolls and finance. On the other hand, by providing a seemingly endless credit line to governments regardless of their policies, Aid effectively discourages governments from learning from and correcting their mistakes and pitfalls. Giving some Third World governments perpetual assistance is about as humanitarian as giving an alcoholic the key to a brewery and beverage shop.
Foreign aid is welcoming and accptable but there should be some renewed approach to deal with the aid programmes. Aid can bring more damage than advantage if not utilized appropriately. The fact is that Africa, Latin America and Asia can have far reaching impacts due to foreign aid. In most cases these part of the world are powerless to make use of the real potential of aid to divert to grasp of soico-economic development because loads of factors affect and obstruct it. Now it is better to refrain from aid dependent economy to a more self reliant economy with the development and sustenance of social capital, civil society and critical middle class. Nevertheless, aid agencies smother a negative and depressing portrait of Africa to the world and following of this pessimistic hype about Africa, people believe and see Africa as a place filled with starving children, uncivilized and nomadic people, poverty stricken people, unemployed where AIDS is just as common as the average flu and violent generation. On account of this unconstructive exposure to outside world, investors tend to shy away from investing their money in a continent that is depicted in such a way as unfriendly and inimical.
In fact, foreign has done little good to poor and developing nationalities. It is just another form of exploiting and dominating imperialism accomplished in new forms. So aid is good but on what ground and for what matter it is given and stipulations on how it is to be utilized create lot of problems for many African, Asian and Latin American countries. Therefore, developing countries are unable to make use of the real potential of foreign aid rather they are victimsed for their debt trap at the altar of foreign aid pogrammes. Therefore, Foreign aid does no good. It is used by rich countries especially USA and other Western nationalities as a tool in foreign policy and pump funds to developing countries as a strategic policy for their military and other imperialist concerns. For USA aid is a political project and foreign policy component. For many other erstwhile European colonial masters, aid is still a new form of civilizing mission by which Whiteman’s burden is done and articulated in a new form of cultural project.
A plethora of literature surfaces about the impacts of foreign aid on Africa and other parts of the world where poor people live and struggle to survive. Quite often, most of such literature gives a clue that nine of the donor countries give it for real development of poor nationalities. Instead most of aid programmes are hidden political project and question of power game in world politics.
Obviously aid in ny form such as military, humanitarian and development assistance are full of umpropriety, mismanagement and corrupt that only lead to polarize and disperse African society in particular. So the socio economic development was not in effect attainable as aud dud nit result in the real purpose for which it was served.
Instead of motivating growth and development as was its original intention, the foreign aid in reality hinders development and brings about and even aggravates poverty and umeployement. At the same time as reforms might diminish some of the harm caused by the programme, the real causes for the failure of foreign aid lie down in the nature of the programme itself.
Foreign aid impede the development of those attitudes necessary for survival; industry, thrift, and self-reliance that are essential for economic growth and development for most part; it shadow lines of investment and disfigure cost data, that resulting in a massive waste of scarce resources. In addition, it politicizes life in the recipient country altogether and  thereby diverting energy from economic to political activities.  It trim down pressure on the recipient governments to sustain an environment favourable to private enterprise and thereby discouraging private investment. Also by providing money to governments on the basis of the poverty of its subjects, aid altogether gives the ruling elites in the recipient countries a vested interest in policies that impede or prevent economic development[9].
References
Bovard,James. (January 31, 1986) The Continuing Failure of Foreign Aid, Cato Policy Analysis No. 65, (http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa065.html) accessed on 19-03-2013
Sikombe, Aaron. March 13, 2013, is Aid Helping or killing Africa? TUMFWEKO, (http://tumfweko.com/2012/04/30/is-aid-helping-or-killing-africa/) accessed on 13-03-2013.



[1] See http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/213344/foreign-aid
[3] George Ogunbande, End of foreign aid in Africa, NIGERIA INTEL, (http://www.nigeriaintel.com/2013/02/09/end-of-foreign-aid-in-africa-2/) accessed on 19-03-2013
[4] How Western aid destroys Africa, (http://www.africaw.com/how-western-foreign-aid-destroys-africa) accessed on 19-03-2013
[5] George Ogunbande, Opinion: Why foreign aid is still bad for all of us,
(http://www.ynaija.com/opinion-why-foreign-aid-is-still-bad-for-all-of-us/) accessed on 19-03-2013
[6] Ibid.
[7] See Foreign aid to Africa, (http://everything2.com/title/Foreign+aid+to+Africa) accessed on 19-03-2013
[8] James Bovard, (January 31, 1986) The Continuing Failure of Foreign Aid, Cato Policy Analysis No. 65, (http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa065.html) accessed on 19-03-2013
[9] David Osterfeld, February 01, 1990, The Failures and Fallacies of Foreign Aid, (http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-failures-and-fallacies-of-foreign-aid#axzz2O0VIVsjJ) accessed on 19-03-2013



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