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If there is so much aid in developing countries, why poverty is increasing in these regions and the industrialized world?

I'm doing a question for my project. Not only that poverty is increasing in the developing world for the worse, it is increasing in the industrialized world, especially the United States.

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    Dec 18 2012: If poverty was treated as a symptom of a greater problem (as opposed to the chief problem itself), perhaps the suffering of people across the globe could be alleviated more effectively.

    Consider the types of aid that are most often rendered: food and medical supplies. This type of assistance may extend the lives of its recipients, but it does very little to break the cycle of poverty or instill self-sustainability.

    Providing rational/practical education, contraceptives, and possibly some building materials in conjunction with food and medical supplies would enable impoverished populations to produce engineers, scientists, teachers, physicians, and other useful professionals without forcing families to have to choose between education, food, and medical care. These newly trained individuals could lay the societal foundation necessary to eradicate issues like pervasive ignorance, the unavailability of clean water, the rampant spread of diseases like HIV, high child and infant mortality rates, lack of family planning, and other secondary problems that plague the developing world.

    This logic could be applied to poverty throughout the industrialized world as well.
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    Dec 8 2012: Trying to eradicate poverty by giving people what poverty won't allow them to get for themselves is like fertilizing and watering to get rid of weeds. The cause (deficient industry/employment) should be treated, not the effect (poverty). People don't need a free ride, they need earning power.
    • Dec 8 2012: "People don't need a free ride, they need earning power."

      ... would have been a nice slogan in 1950, but today most development aid is already geared towards increasing people's earning power.
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        Dec 8 2012: Boxes of food, clothing, and condoms is increasing the recipient's earning power how?
        • Dec 9 2012: Condoms are certainyl a lot cheaper than kids, so that's a no brainer, and the vast majority of development aid doesn't come in the form of food, clothing, again, this is not 1950 anymore. These days it's all about setting up businesses, providing micro loans and improving education.
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    Dec 21 2012: Corruption..Governance Failure..inadequate never reaches where it is required, while it is easy money for the corrupt..despite having self sufficient country resources, it all goes down the drain
  • Dec 9 2012: I think you need to first ask a few questions: What is poverty? Look at work by Amartya Sen, who redifines poverty in terms of peoples capacities. Is someone poor if they are making 1$ a day, but are subsistance farmers who have enough to eat? Or what about relative poverty- in the United States the incomes are much higher, but RELATIVE to their neighbours, people may be poor. Are you only looking at poverty in terms of income? If so, you may want to begin by looking at income inequality. Some countries are seeing poverty being reduced and income being redistributed, look at the "Asian Tigers", such as South Korea. However, many countries are not, look at "The Bottom Billion" a book by Collier. Many of these countries are in SubSaharan Africa. Why is this happening? As some people mentionned, there is corruption, and certain people are benefitting from aid, where as others are not. In countries with high inequality (you may want to look at some of the emerging countries in Latin America), there is economic growth without redistribution. Why? Sometimes, inefficiency in governance means poor taxation measures. In others, structural problems, like lack of education and healthcare mean that people don't have access to jobs or to the formal sector to begin to earn. What would be interesting for your project might be to look at how a foreign aid project developped in one case, and see what the effects were. Talking about poverty I think poses more questions than it answers, but this is part of finding solutions!
  • Dec 9 2012: The thing is that "industrialized world" has a wrong concept of "aid". Aid in the form of money (or material goods) most of the times ends in the wrong hands and only serves to make the rich wealthier. Poverty cannot be cured with money, poor countries are poor because they don't have enough scientist, engineers and college graduates in general, so if you want to help them really, don't send money, instead build schools and engage people (of all ages) to go there and study hard. Education is what makes the difference. Uneducated people is doomed to be poor.

    I don't think poverty is getting worst in developing countries (I live in one) but what is happening is that the gap between the richer and the poorer is becoming bigger every day, and I think that is happening all around the world. The social strata are getting thinner at the top and thicker at the bottom.
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    Gail .

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    Dec 7 2012: First, it's important to be aware that money is a social system. Our fiscal model is intentionally designed to create the rich & the poor.

    Begin with John Locke's Treatises of Government: (the foundation) 1st he introduces the rights of private property ownership with these 3 rational provisos:

    There must be enough left over
    You must not let it spoil (allow waste / have more than enough)
    You must mix your labor with it.

    Then he shows that with the introduction of $, along with men's tacit agreement to put value on it, all the provisos are no longer applicable.

    1. Now you no longer have to mix your labor with your property. Now you can buy labor and profit from money itself.
    2. There is no longer a consideration of spoilage, because money cannot spoil.
    3. There is no longer a consideration for whether there is $ left over for others, because ownership of $ is not a basic human right. And if money can buy land, without leaving enough for others, then access to land (for food/clothing/shelter) is no longer a basic human right. Which is how you force the excessive poor to either die or come into submission..

    Then comes Adam Smith, (Wealth of Nations). He says this is natural law. Within natural law, the scantiness of subsistence, that's caused by not enough money in the hands of the poor, puts natural limits on the "RACE of laborers". He states that the greater number of THEIR children MUST die in the name of the economic system, and the free market will take care of THAT by virtue of the existence of natural law. (poor children don't have access to food/medical/housing advantages).

    For as long as $$$ is our social glue, there will be poverty. But poverty is not increasing globally. What is increasing is the disparity of wealth that shows the problems of poverty in sharp contrast. Left to its own devices, when 2 many ppl have 2 much $, $$$ itself has no value.

    Poverty is skyrocketing in the USA because politicians work to grow the disparity of wealthy.
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    Dec 29 2012: That's a great question. In Australia, we used to get (when I was a little kid - around 30+ years ago) ads on TV, asking for donations to World Vision. We have the same ads on TV still, and I wonder, why didn't the charities teach those kids in the ads 30 years ago how to survive, be self-sufficient, etc, so they could sustain themselves without charitable assistance? Your question has left me providing my answer as just another question. It makes you question how charities are able to sustain themselves by continually having causes, and if that is a conflict of interest? There are some charities which just seem more effective at solving problems than others. In saying that, if you are an organisation which relies on donations, why would you incite scepticism of your product into the market you rely on - that, in itself, is not an approach which promotes sustainability for you or the recipients of your charitable actions. If charities were more transparent - money in, money out, problems solved - I think they would garner more support, and that would benefit their endeavours, regardless of who they benefit.
    • Dec 29 2012: Let's suppose we have two countries with equal populations, one rich, one poor. GDP/capita in the rich country is 20 times higher than in the poor country (roughly the disparity between Australia and an average 20 million people sample from India). Let's further suppose real natural growth for these economies lies at 2-3% of GDP per year. The rich country donates 1% of its GDP to the poor country every year (this is semi-realistic once you add up government and private donations), the annual dividend on this donation is also 2-3%.

      After 30 years (and assuming the population of the poor country doesn't grow faster than that of the rich country, which would make things worse for the poor country) the rich country's GDP/capita is still 12 times higher than that of the poor country, in fact it takes 250-260 years for the two economies to get level with each other.

      The thing is India alone has a bigger population than the entire Western world plus Japan and South Korea, combined.

      So you see, the fact that development aid has not solved global poverty after 30 years is not proof that aid does not work. There are many other things that prove aid as it currently exist or has existed over the past 30 years has limited effects and can be done better, but poverty not having been eradicated by it doesn't prove a thing.
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        Dec 29 2012: Given your scenario, I agree, I wouldn't think poverty could be solved in 30 years. Maybe it's just not well communicated in this country the impact of charity beyond our own shores.
    • Jan 1 2013: The Bible says "The poor shall always be among you." (depending on what version you have) So, 30 years, 50 years, 1000 years, there will always be some poor people. The most we can hope for is to reduce the number. Poor is a relative term anyway, don't you think? Poor in my book would mean one doesn't have enough for food, shelter, or clothing, and as previously stated, giving money often doesn't make it down to that level. Giving money makes one feel good, but how many people are willing to go and set up a business to help the poor have sustainable jobs, or teach farming techniques, or dedicate years of their lives to improving lives. Money will never be the answer in itself. People have to dedicate their talents and time to teach the poor how to do it on their own.
      • Jan 1 2013: Aside from the bible not being an accurate portrayal of the future I believe that poverty is indeed relative and that food, shelter and clothing are not enough, you also need the opportunity to function in society, that means holding a job above minimum wage. If you need a phone number to even get selected for a job interview than having a phone is required to not be poor.
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    Dec 28 2012: Poor choices by politicians, and never going back to examine if those policies are working or doing harm.
  • Dec 21 2012: I think (know) that providing aid where and when the need is aparent, is not guaranteed that this aid is going effectively be given and received.
    One TED Talk by Ernesto Sirolli who did aid working in África in the 70's could illustrate some conditions necessary to provide efficient and effective aid.
    I hope pointing in this direction will help your fine project.
  • Dec 21 2012: Because despite what people tell you, "the economy" is a complex political entity.

    You most likely were taught that growth + free markets = increasing wealth for everyone. The real world simply does not work like this, there are all sorts of complexities simple ideological thinking doesn't like to deal with.

    Always assume if someone is touting "free markets" and "growth" in a magical thinking kind of way that they are clueless and ignorant of how complicated the world really is.
    • Dec 22 2012: It's refreshing to read your post among the others.

      It's not exactly difficult to understand why but in a free market without the haves sharing some of their income the disparity between the haves and have nots will always exist, no matter how much the global economy grows. If the haves first control 9 out of the pie's 10 slices and later on 90 out of 100, they still control 90% of the wealth, disparity has not changed and since poverty is measured by disparity, poverty won't go away either. Working more hours to close the gap doesn't help when the gap is 10 times bigger than your GDP/capita since there simply aren't enough hours in a week.

      Development aid is a way to voluntarily share some income, outsourcing jobs in another, no so voluntarily way (affecting the poorest in the rich countries the most) which is probably rivaling development aid, if it hasn't surpassed it already. Countries like China and India eliminate the free market entirely when it suits them, so they don't have to depend on others to grow, the idea is that if you don't put your resources for sale on the international market you get to use them all, while you would have lost most of them to richer countries outbidding you on the international market and no free trade benefit is worth losing 90% of your resources.
      • Dec 24 2012: " in a free market without the haves sharing some of their income the disparity between the haves and have nots will always exist"
        You seem to have concluded that there is no charity in a free market system. People are definitely charitable in freer economies even when not forced. Contrast how much the billionaires of the relatively liberal economies give (money and personal effort) to charity with how much the billionaires of the controlled economies give.

        "Development aid is a way to voluntarily share some income"
        Voluntary? Not when forced by the government as taxes such as the new Hollande tax that's driving out the rich French.

        "Countries like China and India eliminate the free market entirely when it suits them"
        Both countries started to prosper when they liberalized their economies. As for China's control of its rare earths, I'm not sure that opening up their resources would have made much of a difference: the manufacturing plants would still be set up in China, the Chinese would have been employed anyway.
        • Dec 28 2012: "You seem to have concluded that there is no charity in a free market system."

          I have not concluded this at all, income sharing can just as well be voluntary.

          "Voluntary? Not when forced by the government as taxes such as the new Hollande tax that's driving out the rich French."

          It's a voluntarily act by the country, the voters. Btw, Hollande's new tax rates btw are just a show that affect almost no one because they don't apply to dividends and capital gains and in any case its proceeds do not go to development aid.

          "Both countries started to prosper when they liberalized their economies."

          They were and are very careful about what to liberalize and when.

          "As for China's control of its rare earths, I'm not sure that opening up their resources would have made much of a difference: the manufacturing plants would still be set up in China, the Chinese would have been employed anyway."

          But the Chinese would have been forced to buy back their rare Earths at a higher price than they can currently get them for. A variation on this theme is all the non-recently invaded oil producing countries having a nationalized oil production.
      • Dec 28 2012: "It's a voluntarily act by the country, the voters."
        So, genocide is OK too, as long as it is done by a democratically voted government? You have twisted the meaning of "voluntary" far too much.

        "They were and are very careful about what to liberalize and when."
        Sure, but, the more they liberalized, the more the people prospered. As long as it is done with respect for property rights, people prosper. The other extreme of liberalizing is communism, which does not recognize private property at all.
    • Dec 24 2012: Spoken like someone clueless about free markets. Free market principles never guaranteed growth. Your claiming so is a straw man argument. Controlled (Keynesian) economies were created with the explicitly stated purpose of guaranteeing growth and avoiding crashes. Do open your eyes to the causes of the recent crashes.
  • Dec 11 2012: Adam Smith said man is evel, but I contend man often does not think. Notwithstanding, I am very impressed by Ernesto Sirilli's talk. Also, The U.S. Marines always tells youn offiers lead,follow, or get out of the way Maybe if American business set a better example No more growth no matter what to lower wages Maybe India would be eating better. Certainly, China is upward bound.
  • Dec 10 2012: The answe lies in the Education system both formal and informal. Whatever we do, whoever we are was taught. There is so much more to life than numbers and possessions and unless we set ourselves up to value these things more than we value being right or having, we will always be complaining, sometimes in awe of how powerless we have become as a specie. It is true that together we are strong because an idea is useless inside the mind of one, but its world changing influence grows with the number that believes it. I read the news everyday and ask myself man of the same questions. It'll take many years till I can even begin to use my understanding of design to great use, but I do find myself in awe of perspective margins rather than the usual poverty issue I use to care about so much. The difference, one empowers while the other is bewilderingly choking.
  • Dec 9 2012: Greed.
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    Dec 7 2012: Aids and handouts will not be effective in tackling poverty because they strengthen the 'entitlement' 'dependency' and 'beggar' mentality.
    There are practices and attitudes that brings abundance and there are ones that leads to poverty. Corruption, injustice, selfishness, unbridled materialism, lack of visionary leadership and laziness; these are the causes of poverty.
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    Dec 7 2012: Aids and handouts will not be effective in tackling poverty because they strengthens the 'entitlement' 'dependency' and 'beggar' mentality.
    There are practices and attitudes that brings abundance and there are ones that leads to poverty. Corruption, injustice, selfishness, unbridled materialism, lack of visionary leadership and laziness; these are the causes of poverty.
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    Jan 6 2013: Are charities really wolves in sheep's clothing?
  • Jan 6 2013: The basic reason is that the "countries" needing the aid are ususallly "Failed States", run by non-representative elites, who at best, inefficiently waste the aid, or at worst outright steal it. It is considered uncouth for foreigners to point this out, to say nothing of doing anything about it. Sovereignty , or Imperialism, in action.
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    Jan 2 2013: All excess and unaccounted wealth assimilated by politicians and leaders and their respective families while in office should be confisicated and returned to erridicate poverty in their respective countires. The money received as aid, government contracts and political favors need to accounted for and reassigned to propoer use.
  • Dec 28 2012: Without individual freedom and property rights enforced by the rule of constant and known laws, no amount of aid from the outside can help a developing country, whereas any developing country with those basic building blocks would never need aid. Recall - The USA was once a 'developing country' and now leads the world in virtually every field of endeavor. It's not a coincidence that it was founded on the principle of individual sovereignty with the government's sole job being to preserve and protect those rights (a founding principle that we have ignored to our detriment, but that is another story).
    • Dec 28 2012: "Without individual freedom and property rights enforced by the rule of constant and known laws, no amount of aid from the outside can help a developing country,"

      Property rights are acknowledged in almost every country and indivdual freedoms only have to be above some base level that is already being met by many, if not most developing nations, more importantly they have to be accepted by society. The industrial revolution apparently didn't require equal rights for slaves, women, atheists and gay people.
      • Dec 30 2012: JS - Looks like you didn't read "enforced by the rule of constant and known laws" part of my statement, even though you successfully cut/pasted it. Also, the concept of rights being 'accepted by society' is one that has no clear meaning to me - can you elaborate.

        I did not suggest that the US Constitution was drafted without flaws. And, in order, - deferring the topic of slavery was a compromise that the founders made in the hope that the nation they were forming would resolve the matter later; they believed that forming the union was more likely to result in the end of slavery than not forming it. Women were free, they merely could not vote, and in a limited powers government, the franchise is not so fundamentally important. Compared to virtually every woman in every modern developing country, the women of 18th century America enjoyed were lived in nirvana. Atheists - huh? Gay people - besides a few incidental privileges that confer with matrimony - ALL but a few tax savings can be had by contract legal protections are gay people living without in America?
        • Dec 30 2012: "JS - Looks like you didn't read "enforced by the rule of constant and known laws" part of my statement, even though you successfully cut/pasted it."

          Apart from outlyers such as Somalia and Afghanistan property rights are enforced in most countries, even in Africa.

          "Also, the concept of rights being 'accepted by society' is one that has no clear meaning to me - can you elaborate."

          If we take the example of homosexuality, there are countries where this is legal, but no one would hire you if you came out of the closet.

          "Women were free, they merely could not vote, and in a limited powers government, the franchise is not so fundamentally important. Compared to virtually every woman in every modern developing country, the women of 18th century America were lived in nirvana."

          Do you really believe that? Being married was a legally valid reason for getting fired and married women could not own property.

          "Atheists - huh? Gay people - besides a few incidental privileges that confer with matrimony - ALL but a few tax savings can be had by contract legal protections are gay people living without in America?"

          Yes, now, after centuries of struggle, but it wasn't so during the industrial revolution. Even today many countries are booming even though they have no real democracy and/or freedom of speech and freedom of/from religion.
  • Dec 28 2012: Aid helps to undercut the economy of a region, resulting in loss of jobs and can cause agricultural industries to shut down due to an inability to move product, effectively destroying economies.

    Add to that corruption which tends to run rampant in countries that require lots of aid and you get a recipe for disaster.

    As for rates of poverty you must keep in mind that poverty stricken areas tend to have higher rates of growth (population) whereas developed countries (focus being middle to high classes) tend to have low birth rates. So no matter what the rate of growth for the poverty stricken is going to be higher than the rate for non poverty.
  • Dec 28 2012: The amount of Aid given compared to say, the amount money spent on "defense" is actually very very small. Aid does not always reach the people it is supposed to aid due to corruption. Sometimes it is used to solve short terms problems instead of investing in long term solutions. In a broader sense, perhaps because the population of the world keeps increasing, the increased demand for food and other essentials inflates prices. Has aid money increased in line with this? Also, Believe it or not, the last 60 years (at least in European history) has been one of the most peaceful and prosperous periods ever, perhaps the bubble eventually bursts? Don't forget the capitalist economic system can cause the gap between rich and poor to increase or decrease, supposedly this happens in cycles. It's increasing at the moment for sure. Maybe that's temporary, maybe it's not. Just some thoughts.... you'll have to find the evidence yourself.
  • Dec 28 2012: First of all the leaders would purposely keep their people poor and hungry, when the cry for help reaches the industrialized world, they end up sending a lot of aid. Once the aid reaches the poor nation it is generally stashed in Swiss bank accounts and only 10% of it might reach for the intended purposes.

    One last question to those who give out aid?, why do you aid the most wealthiest third world nations?, they have more than enough resources to help themselves, some of them have fertile land everywhere and are able to eradicate hunger, but the leaders choose not to.

    I know all this as I myself come from a third world nation. Please STOP giving aid, help yourselves out and let that money make your economy more stable.
  • Dec 28 2012: Here is an interesting article that categorizes foreign aid, to an extent, and compiles research on the effects of each type:

    One of the main conclusions is that aid to an infrastructure-poor country is more likely to exacerbate poverty, whereas aid to an infrastructure-rich country has a better chance of alleviating it.

    Personally, I think that these further characterizations of aid are necessary to understand this question, since the word "aid" itself doesn't really mean anything except an action with the intent to help. A more open-minded, comparative, and iterative approach to the consequences of aid seems like it would facilitate precise and effective aid. Esther Duflo talks about this in her TED Talk as well:

    Aside from the ethical questions surrounding aid-based experimentation, thinking about aid and implementing it more dynamically would be like finding and going to a physician who specializes in your disease versus going to a random physician and expecting him/her make you feel better.
  • Dec 28 2012: Its increasing because there is so much aid. Now I'm not a republican in any way. But I do agree from personal experience that if you continue to aid someone after a while they begin to rely heavly on that aid. Sometimes to the point that it can stiffle there own development or want/need to depend and rely on themselves. Of course this isnt with all people but with most I feel this is the case.
    • Dec 28 2012: You are right. But leaving them in that kind of poverty also seem wrong. The best way to help solve the problem of poverty in those country is by educating the people and helping them to provide for themselves, instead of just giving them free foods and resources.
    • Dec 28 2012: Jerome - are you suggesting that Democrats ("I am not a republican") do not support the idea of self-reliance? If so, why don't they? If not, why mention either political party?
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    Dec 27 2012: Mali lost 1.7 per cent of GDP and 8 per cent of export earnings yearly, which amounts to an annual $43m loss to local cotton farmers as a result of U.S. cotton subsidies (Oxfam, 2002: 3-10). Similarly, due to US subsidies, Burkina Faso sustains a yearly loss of $28m; Benin $33m; Cameroon $21m; the Central African Republic $2m; Chad $16m; Côte d’Ivoire $32m; and Togo $16m (Oxfam, 2002:18). The list goes on to include all of the 32 cotton-producing countries in Africa, comprising roughly 30 million cotton farmer in Africa sacrificed for 25 thousand in USA .. .

    In light of this you have people talking about aid not working . . . What a load do rubbish
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    Dec 27 2012: There seem to be a pretend ignorance in this discussion, which i don't think most of us can afford, that aid is a development tool that has failed. That the United States and all the aid donors provide aid for development and now they are confused because they want development for the poor so badly.

    Aid, by its very definition, is a way of getting leaders of poorer countries to do what you want more like a refined gunboat diplomacy. There is no better way to bring this out than constant treat to withdraw support when the recipient goes out of order. Aid and development doesn't mix because the problem of the poor or underdeveloped in not shortage of funds but lack of what I call productive value.

    Americans are actually creating more poor people with its trade policy. The example I like to give is the case of cotton. In. In Mali, more than three million people – a third of the population – depend on cotton to survive, while the United States has 25,000 cotton farmers. The U.S. cotton farmers are paid approximately as much from government subsidies as they earn from the total value of their harvest. In the 2001/2002 period, the value of U.S. cotton production amounted to $3 billion at world market prices with subsidies of $3.9bn in the same year. What makes the level of U.S. farm subsidies so significant for the world market is that the United States exports half of the cotton it produces, so that America’s export prices have a great influence on the world price of cotton.

    Several studies have attempted to describe the effect of US cotton subsidies on African cotton producers. A study by the Fair-trade Foundation suggests that cotton subsidies from the U.S. are costing West African cotton producers (Mali, Benin, Burkina Faso and Chad) £155m a year (Jowit, 2010). Another study by Oxfam estimates the lost income for West Africa cotton producers as $191m (£118m) each year, while sub-Saharan cotton exporters lost $302m as a direct consequence of US cotton subsidies.
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    Dec 26 2012: Help me to understand where the ideas such as this come from: "Consider the types of aid that are most often rendered: food and medical supplies. "
    What are the goals of the U.S. foreign aid programs?
    This is from the U.S Department of State's USAID budget request for FY2013.

    "Making up just 1 percent of the U.S. Government’s overall budget, the Department of State/USAID budget totals $51.6 billion. The request provides the most cost-efficient way to ensure diplomats and development experts have the resources necessary to address complex threats to our national security and promote our economic renewal."

    Overview of the President’s Budget proposal for State/USAID

    Includes $43.4 billion for the core budget, which funds the long-term national security mission of the Department and USAID.
    Provides $8.2 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) to support the extraordinary and temporary costs of civilian-led programs and missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

    Only $4.0 billion in humanitarian assistance, with another $1.0 billion for the global hunger and food security initiative,
    • Dec 26 2012: Theodore, as you may read in my account of doing social enterprise in Ukraine, this was the organisation who wrote telling us they had no budget for "retarded children".

      I describe the all to common experience of dealing with development agencies, where someone or other wants to benefit by means of exclufing others. I illustrate how human and economic rights issues are being avoided by selling 'indlulgences' to corporations:
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    Dec 26 2012: Iraq: $4.8 billion ($4.0 billion OCO and $770 million core)
    o $2.0 billion in assistance, including $1.8 billion to fund police training and military assistance programs transitioned from the Department of Defense (DoD). Investments in health, education, and private sector development continue to decline as these programs transition to the Government of Iraq.

    o $2.7 billion in operations funding supports the Embassy and three consulates as well as public outreach programs to strengthen ties with the Iraqi people.

    o This is approximately 10% less than in FY-12.

    Afghanistan: $4.6 billion ($3.2 billion OCO and $1.4 billion core)
    o $2.5 billion in assistance for counterterrorism-related programs, economic growth, reconciliation and reintegration, and capacity building, as well as to support progress in governance, rule of law, counternarcotics, agriculture, health, and education.

    o $2.1 billion supports the expansion of the diplomatic and interagency presence, the extraordinary costs of security in a conflict zone, and public diplomacy programs to build long-lasting bridges with civil society.

    Pakistan: $2.4 billion ($959 million OCO and $1.5 billion core)
    o $2.2 billion in assistance to strengthen democratic and civil institutions that provide a bulwark against extremism, and support joint security and counterterrorism efforts, including $800 million for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund.

    o $197 million supports the U.S. government’s civilian presence, as well as programs for engagement with civil society.
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    Dec 21 2012: it is the whole concepy of give a man a fish and he will eat for a day but teach a man to fish and he will eat for a life time. The first world cannot simply "bail out" the third world. The third world needs to become self sufficient if we wish to solve poverty.

    Aid is only a temporary help.
  • Dec 17 2012: Check out and the work it does.
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    Dec 14 2012: Teach a man to fish.................. Not give him a fish!

    For those in desperate need due to war and famine etc, the cost to administer and desperse the aid often is more expensive becasue people prefer to give aid in the form of money but not help by volunteering their time, effort, interest and work.

    The people in such conditions sadly cannot string a board around their necks that reads "No job, please feed me" and get a $10 bill from a rich banker driving Porche at the traffic lights.
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      Dec 27 2012: I'd put it differently. Don't prevent a man from fishing by giving him a fish
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    Dec 10 2012: I don't think any of these places have population control or any sort of living standards. So we can build just wont stand for very long. I don't think we can just walk in and out. These changes take generations to fix.

    We also need to really focus on how much aid is being given for "charity" and how much is actually structured aid that helps in long-term development.

    So I guess the question is...are we setting up systems or just throwing money around? I think its important to give aid, but also consider how to enable that country to survive on its own.

    We may need a huge push of resources to these areas. However, I think that would take a global focus, and we are a little too busy at the moment.
  • Dec 10 2012:

    Informal settlements are a major problem, from the widely available data world population is going up, I kind of would like to see it go down I think since the agricultural boom it's been to high, reasonable contraceptives nothing Khmer Rogue style. A drop in population would screw up the artificial precepts of the world economic system, but I think it's a good thing we can make factories cleaner and robotic with less human labor hours, passive energy collection probably creates less jobs so what? Are citizens have more free time to go back to school, work a thirty hour week like in France, learn a second language and really reach those unreachable markets.
    Also if Brazil is going to lift many people out of poverty or not in the next five years with the World cup and the Olympics, retooling the flavella's, and redistributing the oil wealth. has Hugo Chavez done anything for the Venezuelan people? I see big opportunity for redistributing in South Africa note shack 2.0 at the beginning but a good chance for natural gas and rare earth element work may be a blessing and a curse Avon is doing exceptionally well there. Mozambique has seen some movement on the natural gas front also Chinese investment in infrastructure. Already heard an interview with a gas to liquid plant owner in Mozambique. In Kenya there seems to be something of a tech boom in Nairobi and regular improvements on sanitation. The Democratic Republic of Congo is Producing a tablet and then you have new economies opening up Burma Myanmar is that a different nation, Cambodia.
    In short if we build and design more intelligently and in a sustainable manner, pass the tax rise on the rich we may reduce wealth disparity.
    • Dec 10 2012: Very well put David. The problem with your supposition is that taxes will rise on the rich and we will start to be sustainable. Both of those things seem unlikely. Think about who makes the laws (the rich)? Do you think they are going to tax themselves? Same thing for development. Do you think the developers who give money to the politicos care if things are sustainable or not? I love the ideals you espouse, but unfortunately ideals often don't make it into the mainstream because the poor have to do whatever the rich want in order to survive. Just look what is going on now, the rich are saying if their taxes go up they are going to fire people and move factories overseas where taxes are lower trying to scare everyone.
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        Dec 27 2012: Thank you for this short and insightful comment.
  • Dec 10 2012: One thing that money can't buy is poverty. In developing and industrialized countries, the poor lack savings because of the social order (local politics, laws, regulations, and practices) that determine the distribution of power and income. The policies that maintain the social order are influenced and maintained by the very same governments that are entrusted with conduct of "poverty alleviation" programs. It is easy to misuse poverty alleviation funds because the poor are not powerful constituents. If policymakers do not misuse poverty alleviation funds, aid definitely works, as during the Marshall Plan. But, not surprisingly, there is a correlation between low marks on the Transparency international corruption index and underdevelopment. The 1998 World Bank publication, "Assessing Aid--What Works, What Doesn't, and Why," calls these countries with low marks, "unreformed countries" and correctly concludes that aid does not work in unreformed countries. In addition, most aid to developing countries is based on political quid-pro-quo. Developed country parliaments determine gross aid amounts on a per-country basis based entirely on political objectives, and it is up to the country's aid agency to divide up the budget more or less in proportion to the parliament's current priorities (such as climate change, gender, population, health). Then the aid agencies or multilateral banks go out and search for projects, usually by asking the unreformed governments. If there aren't any good projects, it doesn't stop the expenditure because donor agencies have to spend their budgets or they will not get budget allocations next year. So most donor agencies do the best they can under the circumstances. There is a lot more more money available than good ideas. In the case of the industrialized world, the same principle is at work: money doesn't alleviate poverty; policies alleviate poverty. Donors don't alleviate poverty; governments alleviate poverty.
  • Dec 9 2012: I guess you're not allowed to mention "global depopulation" on Ted boards or they get deleted? Anyway THAT is the reason so many people are living in poverty... the real question is why are the dying of starvation?!

    "There are too many people competing for limited resources." -No there isn't. The amount of grain used to feed the livestock in the U.S. can feed all of Africa.

    Don't believe in the globalists plans for depopulation? Then just read the quotes below and do some research of your own....

    “A total world population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
    Ted Turner, in an interview with Audubon magazine

    “Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high morale and community of purpose. The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history.”

    - David Rockefeller Banker, Honorary director of Council on Foreign Relations, honorary chairman of Bilderberg Group & founder of Trilateral Commission. Member of Bohemian Club, praising Chairman Mao, whose policies killed at least 30 million people.

    “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.” - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, patron of the World Wildlife Fund
    • Dec 9 2012: Sure, we will stop eating steak, oh, and grain and send it all to Africa. Sounds like the solution alright. But wait, what will Americans eat then? And what about the future when there are 3 times as many people in Africa as today? What about the prices of many ag staples which have risen and the riots that have happened in many parts of the world due to price rises in food. If you can't afford to buy food, you are still hungry.
      • Dec 9 2012: "Sure, we will stop eating steak, oh, and grain and send it all to Africa." That wasn't an offer for a solution but is that the only one you could come up with?

        "And what about the future when there are 3 times as many people in Africa as today?" - there won't be... the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is already seeing to it that their populations are being decreased...

        Before you make another uninformed response base on your opinion and no facts whatsoever... please at least try to dig a little.
        • Dec 10 2012: Then why does the United Nations say that there will be 2 billion people in Africa by 2050? And, just use common sense, Bill Gates isn't going to undo thousands of years of cultural and religious beliefs. It's real nice to "think" that Bill Gates handing out condoms is going to make men wear them. But again, use some sense, Bill Gates isn't going to stop people from having sex, don't worry. Anyway, I was just responding to what the previous person wrote. He suggested that all the grain we feed cattle could go to Africa. What are they going to pay for it with then? If you haven't noticed, the price of corn has doubled this year (fact), and that is just one example. All ag prices are going up more than inflation while most of the world is in recession (fact). In addition, many countries, not just in Africa, have 30 to 50 percent of their populations that are under 25 (fact) and youth unemployment in many places is above 30 percent (fact), even in "developed" countries like Spain (fact). Sorry you don't believe those facts, but instead of just saying I am wrong, tell me, where are all those people going to get food, shelter, jobs, gas for their cars, etc.?
  • Dec 9 2012: "TED LOVER" hit it the nail on the head so I won't be redundant. People have accepted the monetary system as the gospel but when 30,000 people die of starvation everyday you can't say with a straight face that the current system works. The economic philosophies of John Locke and Adam Smith which are the foundations of the so called "Free Market" system are just that, Philosophies. Subject to improvement and standing the test of time. Philosophies can become obsolete. The problem is not limited resources. We have the resources and technology to feed, house and clothe everybody on the planet. The problem is that in a monetary system efficiency, sustainability, and abundance are enemies of profit. Scarcity is necessary to make goods valuable. The Zeitgeist documentary series part on economics actually does a good job of explaining why we have the system we have. Breaking the status quo is a threat to the establishment and many people's livelihoods. Because of this positive change will occur but at a slow pace unless a traumatic event forces us to rethink our whole belief system.
  • Dec 9 2012: No one wants to admit the truth. There are too many people competing for limited resources. No politician is going to tell people to stop having babies, so guess what? More income inequality, more people looking for work, more homelessness, more slums etc. are the wave of the future. Nothing is overnight of course, but just look at the last 5 years. Some "Developed" countries have 25 % unemployment, especially among the young. By 2050, there will be 2 BILLION people just in Africa. But don't worry, just keep believing there is unlimited oil, farm land, and that Apple or Google will keep growing forever and will hire all those people so they will be able to support their families.
  • Dec 8 2012: Banks and those that are owned by them ; thus, - greed !
  • Dec 8 2012: "If there is so much aid in developing countries, why poverty is increasing in these regions and the industrialized world?"

    Poverty is decreasing in most developing countries, though not in all. There are many reasons that aid has not solved poverty, I can list a couple but I'm sure there are more: 1) development aid accounts for less than 1% of global GDP (so it would take a long time to solve poverty in any case), 2) aid can end up in the wrong hands (corruption or "trickle up"), 3) a developing country's population can grow so fast that GDP/capita falls regardless of received aid, 4) aid can be mismanaged (wasted).

    "it is increasing in the industrialized world, especially the United States."

    The industrialized world doesn't receive development aid and it's mostly stagnating, not getting poorer, but because at the same time income inequality inside the industrialized world increases (again, "trickle up"), poverty rises.
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    Dec 7 2012: Poverty is decreasing around the world, both in developed countries and in the third world. Wherever did you get the strange assumption that it's increasing?
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      Dec 27 2012: You are correct but our definition of poverty, remember that poverty is a subjective and relative concept, has changed
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    Dec 7 2012: Viviane, Fritzie as usual gave excellent advice.

    Billions of dollars are never given because their such nice guys ... look and see what resources are available, is there a port necessary to transport oil, minerals, goods, etc ... cheap labor, etc ... As a person who has been lucky enough to travel I can tell you that the aide is often taken at the top and the "people" rarely benefit.

    In the case of the US. During the election debates there was much said about the rich versus the poor. To be honest neither one of the candidates know much about the poor as both are very wealthy. There are programs for about everything. Just because you do not have a job does not mean that you are without food, medical care, or housing.

    Say you have four kids .. not married ... no job. The government gives you food stamps to buy food for five, provides you with medical care, and a place to live (or rent money), most also have a extra allowance for products for the kids, inaddition each child is worh 400 a month in maintenance money. So $1,600 + $800 (medical insurance), + $1,000 (rent) + $1,600 (food for 5) = $5,000 a month or $60,000 a year for not working. That is $28.85 a hour for a 2080 hour work year.

    If you are working and make $60,000 you pay out for rent, medical, food, and the family costs. So the average wage earner is bringing home a lot less than the non worker.

    So you better define what you mean by poverty. It is not what politicians that wanted your vote told you.

    Do your own research and come to your own conclusions that you can defend.

    All the best. Bob.
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    Dec 7 2012: I think to a certain extent the perception that poverty is increasing is a product of a bar that is constantly being raised. Taking your US example, in the nineteen thirties the poor of the US suffered malnutrition today the poor have an obesity epidemic. What is your definition of poverty? Is poverty relative or absolute? I see poverty as an obsolute ie (a person that can't meet their daily NEEDS) as opposed to a person in the bottom 10% of income.
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    Dec 7 2012: If you do an internet search for "foreign aid poverty," you will get lots of hits. I would focus on those labeled as scholarly or that appear in peer reviewed journals.

    One of the things teachers mean for you to do when they assign a project is to learn how to gather information, recognizing which sources might be considered reliable, and then to form your own conclusions.

    If you just ask people, you get an answer to a different question. That is, it can help you answer the question of what people like the ones you interviewed think is the reason. That is a legitimate and interesting question, but not the same as your question.

    I suggest you examine questions like what the aid is being used for or what form the aid is given in, which may vary depending on the country that receives it.
    • Dec 7 2012: By the way Fritzie, thank you and I understand, but I was using sources from the internet to get my information. Like I said it is part of my project to do my blog