Will Foreign Aid Ever End Poverty?

By Brianna Cruz

It is the season in which America is choosing their best candidate to represent them as a nation. Both candidates have expressed their view on poverty and the foreign policy the United States follows. Both candidates are focused on eliminating poverty and have almost the exact same outcome. The goals of the foreign policy are to “build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.” It also focuses on exports and nuclear technology and interaction with foreign nations. This subject has been a topic of debate not only here in the U.S., but worldwide. This policy is one of the most important tools that the rich countries use to help poor countries. It is used to improve the population from their prosperity and their economic/corporate development.

While foreign aid is something that can benefit other countries that are poor, it has been determined that they do not receive the proper help they need. From 1960 to 2013 3.5 trillion dollars were distributed to poor countries from the rich countries as foreign aid. Before the money reaches to the countries it goes through a cycle of hands, businesses/companies and corporations.



The aid is supposed to break poor countries out of the vicious cycle of poverty, but it has not done anything for them. Will this cycle ever be broken in order to move forward in helping others?
The effectiveness of foreign aid has been skeptical for policy makers and academics. They have expressed this because poor countries remained the same after decades. Non-government organizations have tried to assist the situations and establish a reduction of human suffering. The composition of aid and the way that it is valued varies across countries and over time. It is very difficult to obtain systematic information of the detailed breakdown of the cost and valuation methods. Although aid is perceived as a positive effect to other countries, it barely reaches their needs as a whole.
Only a small amount of the money that is funded by different corporations and businesses actually goes to the affected population. From 1968-2002 5,000 natural disasters occurred and only 20 percent of the affected received help. Some of the things that affect receiving aid are the media. While a natural disaster is happening, the media might cover something that is more beneficial to them that is taking place at the same time. An event such as the Super Bowl or a famous legal case that is occurring can distract viewers. They can pick and choose from what they want to display to others and sometimes the ones in need are ignored.
At times people with power utilize foreign aid and poverty to reach out to the nation. They use this especially during presidential election season, just as the United States recently went through. This has been a topic of discussion throughout the election because the United States is composed of many foreigners. They too are worried about what would happen to their native country. The United States provides opportunities for all and given this statement foreigners are important to society especially during the election season. They are seeking potential votes and support from those individuals that may be interested or affected by the foreign policy. Foreigners take these policies into seriously, and by having them agree with these rules and on their side, it makes the people with power feel like they need to fix poverty.
With all of the attention that the policy gets, will it ever be executed in a way that satisfies those with power? While there are many bumps in this policy, it might be safe to consider finding a way to actually solve these problems.  This policy has been going in circles ever since its existence. It has been something that has been adjusted from time to time. It has failed many times, and poverty rates are increasing. The countries that are receiving help are getting “too much help”. Instead of distributing the help evenly, the policy only sticks to certain poor areas and that is how it does not help everyone. That is how poverty keeps growing, and the policy does not work.
Over all, the policy does have its positive outcomes. It does seek to help out others that need it. It has its strategies that can be fixed in order to end poverty, but will they ever be fixed? Will the people with power ever figure out how to help every single country that has daily struggles? Will poverty ever be terminated? Poverty will only be eliminated if these issues can be fixed and maintained as something that is structured and effective. With all of the contributions that are made into making this policy work, it can become a solution for poverty around the world.


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