|Toby Ord: The myths and misunderstandings of of foreign aid
||[Nov. 19th, 2009|02:05 pm]
Many of the reasons that governments and individuals decide not to support foreign aid stems from a variety of myths and misunderstandings. These myths are concerned with the nature of giving aid, the way this aid is given to the countries that need it and how it is distributed. Although elements of these ‘myths’ are based on some fact, many do not paint an accurate picture of the state of foreign aid in the contemporary climate.|
It is a general misconception that governments and individuals of developed countries already spend a large amount on foreign aid. However, the US actually only spends less than 1per cent of the Federal Budget on foreign aid - this is far less than commonly thought and far less than people would want to spend.
Furthermore, many mistakenly believe that giving aid is useless, as so many of the countries that need this help are steeped in corruption. Obviously corruption in some governments can lead to aid money being diverted from its intended purpose, however this is only in a select number of cases and governments. This is especially true for money that is not given to a foreign government, but is instead directly spent on an aid project. It is vital to remember that aid can definitely still be useful despite the presence of some corruption in a select number of countries.
Many think the problems are so large and on such a global scale that their contributions will not help. It is true that individuals cannot solve the world’s problems on their own. However, every little bit of aid helps and everyone can make a difference in absolute terms.
Many feel that we should change the political systems in the worst affected countries as opposed to sending through large amounts of aid. Working towards a fairer trade policy and also donating enough money to directly improve thousands of people's lives is much better than just working towards a fairer trade policy. Therefore, it is important to remember that we can donate at the same time as taking political action.
It is clear that there are many widespread misunderstandings regarding foreign aid and these need to be addressed in order to ensure that every government and individual is giving the most they can to change the state of some of the world’s poorest countries.
Toby Ord is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Balliol College at the University of Oxford. He is also involved as a research associate at two of Oxford's exciting new research centres in ethics: the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and the Future of Humanity Institute.
2009-11-20 07:47 am (UTC)
Like Aid to Isreal
The US give them almost $3 billion in aid and all but about 25 million is for weapons and military. Not exactly where one would think aid goes now is it. I bet Britain gives them aid as well. Many countries do. http://wp.me/p4271-1wZ
They sure buy a lot of weaponry.
2010-08-21 12:44 am (UTC)
Evolution/technology rate of change
There are moments throughout time where evolution pushes forward and different species are capable of evolving at a faster rate than usual. However, this accelerated rate of change takes anywhere from 10,000 years to a million years to occur. With the acceleration of technology in the past 50 years it may become impossible for human evolution to keep up with the pace of technology. What do we do when evolution can't keep up with the rate of change in technology that humans are now forced to confront?
Could global warming and environmental catastrophes be an example of how our technology is improving faster than we can see the biological impact on our planet Earth?
I remember seeing a discussion like this on evolution and technology on a Facebook community page http://www.facebook.com/thewatchmansrattle
Here’s a link to the actual video on evolution.http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1492968725894