Week #2 Aid and Developing Countries

Helping poor people around the world is a topic of discussion that many try and decipher, whether straight aid is the most effective or if giving these people the opportunity to help themselves is more effective. Jacqueline Novogratz in her TED talk “Ending Poverty” she discusses the issues facing nearly four billion people worldwide. She says “ On a macro level, four billion people on Earth make less than four dollars a day. That’s who we talk about when we think about the poor”(Novogratz Ted Talk). With so many people in need of aid she doesn’t think giving them aid in the long run will allow the people to be free of the cycle of aid. With every piece of aid sent to places like Africa and India it is hurting the local craftsman who makes things such as mosquito nets or shoes never allowing them to left themselves out of poverty. Her main message is we need to develop systems that allow the people themselves, with outside support, to grow their economy and lift them out of poverty on their own accord. These people “want to solve their own problems; and that’s by engaging with them”(Novogratz Ted Talk) and by doing this we allow them to stop the endless cycle of depending on foreign aid allowing them to get above the four dollar a day life and beyond.


MDGs have tasked themselves with the goal of getting leaders and governments to give aid to specifically to projects the MDGs have created to the most impactful effect. The most important goal is to eradicate poverty in the world. They set up benchmarks that should be achieved such as halving world poverty by a certain year and they have leaders pledge resourced to accomplishing their goals. The problem with Neo-Conservative ideas in governments around the world is the government would see sending aid as frivolous spending and would cut it from the budget alone with other social programs. This makes reaching goals much more difficult when these principals are put into place.

In Own The Goals John McArthur talks about players on the bench particularly talking about the US president, Congress and the World Bank. He thinks “By refusing to directly engage with the MDGs in their early years, the United States missed an opportunity to highlight its contributions to development efforts and foster international goodwill”(John McArthur Own the Goals) giving little credibility since they promised action but did not do it with MDGs help. A criticism comes from these organizations loosing valuable time in past generation in which the goodwill that would have been created would have stopped much of the distrust and hate towards the US.


The article “How to Help Poor Countries” addresses the question of money aid by having the rich countries truly look at the outcome they want with the developing world. To achieve lasting “growth, they must think creatively about the development agenda”(Birdsall, Rodrik, Subramanian) otherwise we will revert to a cycle of aid and no real development. The goal should be to help the people of poor countries even at our expense now as the gained trading potential in the future from a newly developed country would be much greater than any profit potential today.


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