Global Aid: Can we Reduce Disease and Poverty
Poverty and disease have remained one of the most critical issues in human lives around the world for decades. The years prior to 1990 were hall marked by a number of human deaths resulting from disease and poverty. The worst hit areas globally were developing countries. These countries had the highest percentage of children and adults dying of hunger and different diseases. In 1990, the world health organization came up with a developmental program to reduce poverty and help fight both communicable and non–communicable diseases around the world. This program was more geared for the developing countries.
Since then, almost all countries around the world have been fighting to help in reducing poverty and diseases globally. Just like developing countries that are considered poor, developed nations, such as America and Europe have people suffering from similar diseases found in developing countries. They also have a significant percentage of children living in impoverished state, a number of homeless people, and a higher number of people living with non-communicable diseases. The only difference in these statistics is that the developing countries have higher percentages as compared to the developed countries. This paper is a research about whether it is possible to reduce disease and poverty worldwide.
Reducing World Poverty and Disease
Poverty and disease are two factors that go hand in hand. These two problems play an important part in the underdevelopment of a country. They also lead to economic underdevelopment of a nation. This is because no country can develop in any way if the entire population is sick or impoverished. It is possible to minimize global poverty to negligible percentage. This can be done by getting aid from developed countries and disbursing them to developed countries. For example, both America and most European countries are heavily involved in providing financial aid to many developing countries around the world (Clair & Velasquez n.d). The money disbursed by the nation usually aim at helping these countries fight disease by providing ready medicines for citizens who need them. The money is as well intended for helping in eradicating poverty by establishing development project in poor nations.
These nations give money for fighting pandemic diseases, such as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, cancer among other no –communicable and communicable diseases. A part from aid from foreign donors, there are international organizations like world health organization, which also avail funds for such intentions. The WHO has had an agenda of helping developing as well as developed nations fight various diseases and reduce them to a minimal level. They have a goal to reduce the number of deaths resulting from diseases in the entire world. This goal also includes the reduction in the number children and maternal deaths in the world. The WHO works with many nations and their hospitals to form non–governmental as well as governmental organization that will ensure that such money is used for the intended course.
Many people and especially governments around the world have questioned whether it is their moral obligation to provide aid to poor nation to fight diseases. Some have argued that it is not right to help poor nation in fighting diseases while others believe that it is important to help poor nations achieve such a worthy course (The Guardian n.d). Others have also wondered whether global aid to poor countries can help reduce diseases. The answer to these questions is that it is right for developed countries to help poor countries in fighting diseases. However, these poor countries must ensure that they use the money for the intended purpose. The government and other organizations involved in such endeavors must use the funds for fighting various diseases. Such funds must never be directed for any other activity.
This is where most developing countries go wrong. They use donor funds and funds from other global organizations for their own benefits but not for fighting diseases. For example, Clair and Velasquez found out that almost 80% of such funds usually end up in the military or are used by corrupt government officials in making themselves rich. High rates of corruption in most developing countries make it hard to fight and reduce diseases in such nations. Developing countries should also make it a priority to help reduce diseases in their own environment by relying on the resources they have. Research has shown that most developing countries have so much underutilized resources that can help raise money for projects aimed at fighting diseases. Most of them have reducing disease as one of their millennium development goals, but are not doing much to help in realizing such projects due to high rates of corruption within their government and other sectors (Sachs and Ayittei 67).
Reducing Global Poverty
Poverty refers to the state of living without adequate food supplies. Just like diseases, poverty is a hindrance to a country’s development. Just like diseases, poverty has been an issue since the existence of humankind. Research has shown that most people in the world are living in utter poverty. In fact, the United Nations statistics in 2008 showed that about 70% of the population in poor countries lives below the poverty line (WHO). These statistics are also available in developed countries. Research has shown that a greater percentage of the world population is living below the poverty line. This research has also shown that most children around the world live in utter poverty. Poverty deprives children as well as people from attaining higher levels of education. This eventually leads to unemployment, which causes more poor people and the poverty cycle continues.
The main question in this research is ‘Is it possible to reduce poverty level experienced around the globe?’ As stated for disease reduction, reducing poverty levels in developing countries is very possible. These countries should use funds made available by donors and other organization for fighting factors that might lead to high levels of poverty (ONE). These factors include diseases, which make people within a given country unwell and unable to work. Education is also an important factor that helps in reducing poverty levels in a nation. Gaining elementary and high school education will help citizens acquire handy knowledge and skills such as farming, art, and other methods of agriculture that help in food production. Such activities cannot be carried out successfully without adequate minimum levels of education.
Providing elementary education is not enough tools for fighting poverty. Government and private sector need to be able to create a number of jobs for the youth and other citizens. The type of education offered should motivate people to be self-employed. Education also makes people aware of different crops to plant and other business opportunities to venture into so that they can help in alleviating poverty in their nations (IMF). Poor nations also need to improve the states of roads and infrastructure in the country. This will pave way for proper transportation and distribution of food materials in areas where that cannot be found. Developing countries should as well borrow a leaf from the developed countries on how they have used information and technology to produce subsidized food products for the population in order to reduce poverty.
Governments in developing countries need to devise various food production methods for making surplus food available to be used during dry seasons. Methods such as irrigation and use of fertilizers in both rural and urban areas need to be highly encouraged. Such agricultural tools must be put to extensive use by locals and be supported by the government to help produce enough resources for food supplies. After having surplus produce, such food must be preserved for emergency and future usage. High population is another factor to consider when an individual or a nation is aiming at reducing poverty level (ONE). As such, every person of childbearing age must go through rigorous family planning training to help in keeping a balanced population. Like China, Japan, and other countries, developing countries need to have an agreed number of children per household.
Several research studies have shown that most developing countries get enough foreign aid to help them fight poverty. The worst part of the scenario is that these aids never get to be utilized for the planned purpose. For instance, Clair and Velasquez found out that between the year 1978 and 1984, more than 80% of over 600 million of food resources sent to hungers stricken Somalia went to the military and other public institutions. Similarly, in El Salvador, 80% of the U.S. support sent in form of dry milk ended up on being sold in the black market. These are just but a few examples; there are many more of such cases, especially in the sub Saharan Africa where poverty and diseases hit the highest population.
As said earlier, developing nations have many resources at their disposal. Some countries have natural resources, such as gold and other minerals; others produce tea, coffee, cocoa among others. The governments in these countries should come up with viable programs to enable exploit such resources for use in reducing poverty (Sachs and Ayittei 69). The authorities should ensure that they use many locals and does not give production opportunities to countries from developed nations, as is the case with African countries. Employing their own citizens, mean empowering them economically. Economic empowerment raises the standards of living thereby helping in reducing poverty.
These nations work towards reducing their huge wage bills, which take a toll on their economy. Such large bills given to top government officials and civil servant leave the countries with no money for emergencies and other developmental projects. Government officials in poor countries should stop being greedy and start working to reduce the levels of poverty in their nations (IMF). Therefore, these states have the ability to fight poverty using their own available means. They only need aid to a smaller degree in subsidizing what they have.
It is true that most poor nations need to reduce disease and poverty index. It is also a fact that they are able to do this using their available resources. However, the success of such projects relies on the government being less selfish and more development oriented.
Claire, Andre & Velasquez, Manuel. World hunger: a moral response. Retrieved from https://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v5n1/hunger.html
IMF. Does foreign id reduce poverty? Empirical evidence from nongovernment organization. 2014. Retrieved from http://books.google.co.ke/books?id=97l9ScswhGkC&pg=PA26&dq=global+aid:+can+we+reduce+disease+and+poverty&hl=en&sa=X&ei=xQ4gU8ntOqbY7Ab37oFQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=global%20aid%3A%20can%20we%20reduce%20disease%20and%20poverty&f=false
ONE. Millennium development goals. 2000. Retrieved from http://www.one.org/international/issues/development-assistance/
Sachs, Jeffery & Ayittei, George. Poverty: ca foreign aid help reduce poverty. 2009. P 67-69. Retrieved from http://www.earth.columbia.edu/sitefiles/file/about/director/2009/Controversies%20in%20Globalization%20Chapter%203_Can%20foreign%20aid%20reduce%20poverty.pdf
The Guardian. Ending global poverty: the fight goes on. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/nov/18/global-poverty-experts-ideas-for-change
WHO. Millennium development goals. 2012. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs290/en/#