Should aid agencies go political?

Starving impoverished populations for political reasons is worse than an economic embargo on regimes accused of human rights violations. Aid agencies should continue their work in every spot as long as they have no political agenda. Their job should be limited to humanitarian issues.

A regime can fall alone with or without aid if there are no outside forces to back it or when there is an international intervention to topple it.

Aid agencies should be like médecins sans frontières whose job is to save lives and not to dictate the governments what they should do. This should be the job of international banks like the World Bank which should monitor the loans they offer to despotic and corrupt regimes.

After all the aids distributed are just hand to mouth. They barely answer the basic necessities like infrastructures for an economic upsurge. At heart, it’s better to see a population under a despotic and corrupt regime survive than to see it starving causing human catastrophes.

Perhaps, aids agencies should have more autonomy in their distributions. They shouldn’t be under the nose of local authorities that can use the aids just for their own advantages.

Aid agencies shouldn’t become a political weapon. They should continue as humanitarian agencies, whose sole purpose is to help the needy without any political agenda. As a professional doctor, they should spot the ills and find remedies to them. They shouldn’t seek to equate the political affiliations or non-affiliation of the recipients or that of those governing them to scale how much hand-out should be offered.

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3 Comments

  1. Looney said,

    May 9, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    Certainly we can all agree that aid agencies shouldn’t be political weapons, but it seems inevitable that many will be. Usually the aid is going to places with tyrannical and/or dysfunctional governments. Should the aid agency provide relief, if half of the aid will be confiscated for the purpose of supporting a military that terrorizes the population? What if the local officials demand bribes? There are countless variations on this, because the rulers can sell food to other countries to earn money for weapons and they can remove food from growing areas to create a famine which relief agencies are compelled to respond to. How far can a relief agency go to please the tyrants before its mission is hopelessly compromised?

  2. Abdelilah Boukili said,

    May 9, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    You are right Looney.
    And to confirm this, there is the Polisario front fighting Morocco over the Western Sahara. This front is taking more than 100,000 people hostage on the Algerian territory. It doesn’t allow them to return to their homeland.

    It receives large aid from international organizations. Parts of that aid ends up in the markets of neighboring countries, especially Algeria, Mauritania and Mali. The leaders of this front are very rich thanks to the sale of the aid that should be distributed to that hostage population.

  3. Looney said,

    May 10, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I spend a lot of time reading, but the situation you just described is something I completely missed.


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