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(Six-minute read) 

 

Here is a nation that made its wealth from an Empire that exploited most of the world.

Victoria

It is now leaving the European Union which was set up with the aim of ending the frequent and bloody wars between neighbors. 

Reneging on its commitment to spend 0.07% of its gross national income on foreign aid because charity begins at home.

In the middle of a financial meltdown,  turning its self into a parochial country on the world stage.

Agreed a four-year £16.5bn surge in defense spending in the middle of a pandemic, while 1.9 million of its people are relying on a food bank.   

Spending around 160 billion to save 30 minutes by rail from London to Birmingham. (Creating around 30,000 temporary jobs.) While by this time next year there is every likelihood that its unemployed will reach 3 million must of which will be under 25 years of age. 

Aid is a fundamental reaction of most individuals when they see or hear of someone in need. 

This is why we have appeal’s from saving a donkey to save a penguin to save a child to donate to cancer research to donate to the poor to donate blood to relieve famine. 

It is true that aid on an individual basis comes in many forms with countries’ government foreign aid reflecting our collective compassion.

It is also true that Aid is sometimes abused both by the recipient and the giver.          

Perhaps the toxic environment caused by the excesses of the tabloid media over the last 30 years and now social media has something to do with our harding attitude that Aid starts at home. But with our inability to act as one on climate change we will all have to become better at emergency aid and rather worse at development aid.

Indeed financial aid over the last 30 years or so has proved to be  “an excellent method for transferring money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.” However, in the long run when it comes to aiding it’s cheaper to send them the money rather than them having to come to claim it.

Aid politicized economies and therefore it often comes with a price of its own. 

Rich nations use aid as a lever to open poor country markets to their products and create beneficial trades with aid amounts being dwarfed by rich country protectionism that denies market access for poor country products.

Britain and the USA only believe in free markets that work in one direction.

Aid may be bilateral and multilateral if it is bilateral happens when: the given is from one country directly to another; and multilateral: when is given by the donor country to an international organization such as the World Bank (WB) or the United Nations Agencies (UNDP, UNICEF, UNAIDS, etc.) which in many cases they are the ones who distribute it among the developing countries.

The proportion is currently about 70% bilateral 30% multilateral, according to the World Bank statistics.

Even though the relationship between globalization, development, poverty, and foreign aid is not always clear, as long as the poorest countries are not integrated to work in their own development process, the world has not benefitted or learned from globalization especially from developed neighbor countries, who can give support in many conditions to work from the same goal, the success of development.

Paradox as aid to Africa has grown, the continent has actually become poorer rather than better off.

Of all the aid given to developing countries the smartphone allowed trade to take place without a middle man, and to know the market price has done more than all the billions.

Trade, not aid, it doesn’t have to mean money all the time.

Trade has a long-term impact on international co-operation.

Trade helps developing countries to maintain their dignity,

Trade establishes a strong impression in the international market, 

Trade promotes the economical improvement of the country 

Trade requires investment first.

Trade is treated as an inefficient distributor of resources. The benefit of trade is mostly confined to an elite group of people in the country.

Thoughtful aid can de accelerate this process.

It is not so much trade vs aid – but what quality and type of aid are given.

But more importantly for us to see the difference it makes.  We should be aiding poorer countries to do things themselves, not doing things for them.

( See the previous post on the Solution on how to finance and distribute Aid while maintaining the Mantra Charity starts a home.)  

It seems the brightest people are no longer attracted to politics. 

John Donne wrote in “For Whom the Bell Tolls”: “No man is an island, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.

All human contributions appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.