Monday, January 17, 2005

Our government must give more to support international development projects that will eliminate poverty, and public health projects to save millions from dying of treatable diseases every year. It is a moral duty and also a practical necessity. Those who consider only the immediate interests of the US should consider how inattention to these global problems come back to us in the form of instability and violent conflict. But the question, to me, seems far simpler than such projections: if our country has the capacity to save lives by the thousands, by the hundred thousands, by the millions, isn't it imperative for us to act? What could possibly be more important than that? Jeffrey Sachs has something to say about this in today's washington post.


At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, most development aid money goes to countries without the infrastructure to use it effectively. (see: Tanzania, for one)

The biggest problem is the internal corruption, and lack of free markets in such countries. Throw billions of dollars in development aid, but it will amount to very little.

At 5:46 PM, Blogger Ari said...

You are right to caution against haphazardly throwing money at a situation, particularly given widespread corruption within certain organizations and institutions. But this awareness in no way absolves us of our responsibility to seek out and aid accountable and sustainable institutions that are working to realize dramatic transformations. We must also be wary of free market fundamentalism--in several cases international pressure on certain countries to open themselves to free trade in the global market has been disastarous, amplifying rather than resolving vast social and economic inequalities.

The bottom line is, we are responsible for addressing this global emergency, in which millions die every year of treatable diseases. We are responsible for addressing these crises with all of the resources at our disposal. We must be wise and careful about the way we approach such an enormous responsibility, but we must not hesitate to act.

At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting points all, but read this article from today's WSJ -- which hits the nail on the head:


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