Impact of Foreign Aid: Myths and Where to Contribute
By Diana Ricketson.
From the time I was a child, I always knew ‘bad things happened’ in the world. From poverty to starvation, the world is chalk full of stories, anecdotes, and examples of human suffering. Some people wonder, are we really living in a better time? We have arguments for a longer life span, modern medicine, a better understanding of where we came from, where we might go, and the educational tools to enlighten our children. We have arguments against this idea; genocides, world wars, inequality between the rich and the poor, a growing sense of insecurity. For the purpose of this blog post, I will explore the answers based on the impact of foreign aid in the past few years to argue that we are getting better. I will explore the other arguments later to argue all faucets of our modern world, and how this relates to our mission at 200 Orphanages in later blog posts.
According to the annual Bill Gate’s letter, there are three common myths associated with foreign aid. One, poor countries will continue to stay poor. According to Bill, however, that incomes and other measures of human welfare are rising almost everywhere, including Africa. Of course, income inequality still exists, and is getting worse in richer countries such as the United States. Also, 1 Billion people are still considered in poverty. There is much left to be done, but we can get there! (Gates, Bill).
Myth number 2: Foreign aid is a big waste. The United States spends about 30 Billion a year on foreign aid. There are other impacts that are obvious: healthy children attend school regularly, have a better overall mental health, and contribute more later on in life. He also talks about corruption; government officials pocketing money or dollars not being spent properly. There is a way to reduce this corruption, but not a way to entirely eliminate it. We should still continue providing aid, and putting our money towards small and big organizations. I argue that a combination of private and government aid will help reduce corruption and allow for a variety of different . Government can collect large amounts of tax money while a private organization that is small can reach out to donors on a more personal level, such as 200 Orphanages, and be held accountable. Government has a vast network of private citizens to collect money on a larger scale, while an organization as small as 200 Orphanages can focus on a few areas and projects. (Gates, Bill).
The third myth is that saving lives leads to overpopulation. This could be a blog in of itself, but the basic principle is that while it may seem that it would lead to overpopulation, this is just not the case. In a nutshell, populations where there is adequate education, nutrition, safety, and work, people have less children. When there is a chance that someone’s offspring will not survive, families tend to have more children in order to make sure that the family survives. There is a multitude of research and other reasons, but that is the basic principle! (Gates, Bill).
We should continue monitoring and providing foreign aid to countries. Contributions made by the government and private citizens to charities such as 200 Orphanages does have an impact on those we send the money to. Nothing is perfect, but a combination of government collecting money via taxes and sending it to charities, and private charities focusing on a few key areas is the best combination to fight against poverty. Government has the power and the ability to collect millions while smaller charities can pin point particular regions, projects, type or problems.
In a future blog posts, I will talk about other issue facing our modern world and how they relate to 200 Orphanages. I will also look at domestic issues within the United States as well.
Gates, Bill. “3 MYTHS THAT BLOCK PROGRESS FOR THE POOR.” 2014 Gates Annual Letter: Myths About Foreign Aid. Bill Gates, Jan. 2014. Web. 14 Feb. 2014. <http://annualletter.gatesfoundation.org/#section=myth-three