Afghanistan is a country that is located between south and central Asia. It is a developing country that has lagged behind other developing countries in terms of development because of lack of peace in the country. For developing countries, foreign aid is very crucial in helping the country catch up with other countries. Afghanistan has also been receiving such foreign aid with the hope of helping it recover from the war damage. This research paper is to evaluate whether foreign aid plays a role in facilitating poverty eradication hence facilitating the growth of a country. Afghanistan will be used as a case example in this paper.
Afghanistan is known to have a 30-year history of war and ethnic tensions and hatred have never ended. While there may be no fighting as at now, there are various groups that are a threat to the peace of the country and this in a great way hinders development. Foreign aid in the country including relief food is not distributed equitably because of the ethnic differences and insecurity that exist in the country because of the Taliban groups. The lack of peace in the country leads to completion for the foreign aid between the ethnic groups, and this leaves some people getting very little for survival. Statistics have shown that 40% of the people in the country do not get enough food all the time. The problem is that it is difficult to know the parts of the population that does not get enough food. The problems can be linked to the tensions and disagreements in the society that make distribution of resources very difficult (Samim, 2016).
The lack of peace has made it difficult to form a government that is representative of the population. This makes it difficult to plan how the foreign aid is to be distributed in the country. The plans are now made outside the country, but this does not mean that the government does not influence their distribution. The national and local leaders in the country greatly influence the way the relief and aid is distributed in the country. Corruption in the country in a great way hinder the good use of relief to benefit the people as a few people end up benefiting from the relief and aid (Global Issues, 2014).
The last two decades saw Afghanistan receive a lot of foreign aid. The aid has had a great impact on the society considering that the poverty levels have slightly improved. The birth mortality rates have significantly reduced, and the school enrollment rates have improved to about 40%. While the improvement is significant, it is far below that of the other countries in the region. A lot has to be done to ensure that the people in Afghanistan live better lives.
The International Monetary Fund has gone ahead to offer technical support to the country in addition to foreign aid with the expectation that this will lead to faster developments. While this has in a way boosted the growth of the country, it is far from reaching the level the other neighboring countries are already at. It is generally agreed that the foreign aid that has been supplied to the country does not match the level of development and poverty eradication in the country. The lack of good governance in a great way has facilitated the slow rate of development in the country (Cordesman, 2010).
When there is peace in a country, people are willing to move across the country supplying the aid to the people. Foreign donors are willing to donate their money to fund projects that benefit the people directly. However, lack of peace discourages people from funding projects because they cannot inspect the way their money is being spent.
With peace, children in a country can get education that is very crucial in improving their lives. It is possible for them to work in their country and help build their economy. In the case of Afghanistan, the conflicts that occur from time to time have slowed down enrollment to schools, and this has further slowed the poverty alleviation process. The government has also been blamed to have misused the foreign aid in activities that do not help alleviate poverty. The fact that women are discriminated in the society while their roles remain important in economic growth has meant that no projects have been developed to support the welfare of the women (IMF, 2016).
In conclusion, foreign aid is very important in the alleviation of poverty. It helps create the basic infrastructure such as roads and schools that help in the development of an economy. In Afghanistan, there have been some developments in the country with poverty reducing by some levels. However, the growth has been lower than expected compared to the funds channeled to the country. Peace is very important in facilitating the proper utilization of funds. There should be an agreement between the various communities in Afghanistan for projects to be implemented effectively (Thrane, 2013). The threats by some groups in the society also scare away some donors who assume that the groups may end up destroying the projects that they fund. While the importance of foreign aid cannot be ignored, it should be noted that peace is very important if the foreign aid is to achieve the goal of reducing poverty levels.
Cordesman, C. H. (2010). Agriculture, Food, and Poverty in Afghanistan | Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved from https://www.csis.org/analysis/agriculture-food-and-poverty-afghanistan
Global Issues. (2014). Foreign Aid for Development Assistance. Retrieved from www.globalissues.org/print/article/35
IMF. (2016). IMF Program Note on the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Retrieved from https://www.imf.org/external/np/country/notes/afghanistan.htm
Samim M. (2016). Afghanistans Addiction to Foreign Aid | The Diplomat. Retrieved from http://thediplomat.com/2016/05/afghanistans-addiction-to-foreign-aid/
Thrane A. (2013). Corruption: A Threat to International Aid in Fragile Countries Blogal Prosperity by the Center for Global Prosperity. Retrieved from https://globalprosperity.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/corruption-a-threat-to-international-aid-in-fragile-countries/
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