How effective is Foreign Aid? - Is it worth it?

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2 years ago - 2 minutes read

Foreign Aid

Foreign Aid is international help sent by richer countries to developing countries. It is intended to help them grow and invest in their own economies' modernization and industrialization.

This help can be in the form of money, medical expertise, or financial advice, for example.

Most EU and North American countries spend about 1% of their budget on Foreign Aid.

Main Objectives

As such, the most common objectives used to justify the sending of money abroad are:

  • World Peace and Safety
  • Guarantee Human Rights
  • Increase Education and Democracy
  • Prevent the Climate Crises

Is it worth it?

Is it the best use of billions of dollars to just send them to struggling nations?


Even if it is, what problems does the current system have?

The Successes

Most of the times, we only hear about Foreign Aid successes, such as:

Alleviating Hunger

We often see images of food and water being delivered to populations that don't have enough food to eat, be it because of civil war, drought, or simply poverty.

In these cases, this aid is essential to ensure their survival!


Many diseases have been eradicated thanks to International Aid, such as Guinea Worm, while others have seen their spread limited and their mortality rate reduced, such as HIV.

The failures

While the successes are evident, we must also take a look at Foreign Aid in itself and how we implemented it.



The recipient country might misuse the funds, by wasting them on bad government contracts that enrich the governor's friends.

Choosing the Country

Sometimes, it's not the country most in need that is given access to these funds, instead, the resources might be sent to a strategic ally or an ex-colony.

Long-Term Loss

The fact that foreign nations send in food or industrial goods, to meet the present needs of the population, might lead to less growth in the future, as there is less incentive to produce because the would-be consumers already have access to some of those goods.


After all this, we can see that some type of International Aid is necessary, namely after disasters and crises, but the current system is very flawed and is not a very good deal for both giving and recipient countries alike.

Do you have any ideas on how to improve the current Foreign Aid Systems? If so, leave them in the comments!

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