I started my studies of international law as a curious student that wants to help the world to be a better place and work for a humanitarian organisation. Soon going deeper into materials and an alternative scene available to me at that time, I discovered it was all not that pretty as it looks on the paper. It made me question everything, especially international politics and things around it. Are the third world countries exploited on purpose? How does the foreign aid really work?
The richest are the poorest
Why is Africa, with the most natural resources in the world, the poorest continent of all? We are talking about gold, minerals, oil, diamonds, tourism, etc. The reason would be simple, NOBODY WANTS THE CHANGE, because it would be too EXPENSIVE.
The reason there will be no change is that the people who stand to lose from change have all the power. And the people who stand to gain from a change have none of the power. Machiavelli
Foreign Aid Game
There are countless documentaries, reports and research done about economically poor countries and their role in the world politics. Fighting poverty is a gigantic business called humanitarian aid. Most of the wars are happening for the reason to destabilise the country and get cheap resources, cheap labour force in unregulated environment, etc.
The more humanitarian aid flows into third world countries, the less independence they have. Hundred of millions of dollars through so-called humanitarian aid go back to the companies located mostly in the USA and Europe. Humanitarian aid is playing a role in the destruction of small local businesses. You buy chickens to sell eggs; the next day the eggs are given for free by the humanitarian aid provider.
On a psychological level: Maintaining Powerlessness is a Key Destructor.
On the psychological level, this situation wires the brains of people to powerlessness and helplessness. People do not have the motivation to take responsibility for their lives. Even if the situation would get better right now, the future generation will have to deal with this behavioural pattern stored in their DNA.
Being poor can be a tremendous struggle. When you can do something about it, it makes things easier. It might be much more difficult for people that are excluded from networks such as banks, cell phones, mortgages, therapy, health care, or no rule of law.
The poor should be business partners, not victims of charity. By supporting mainstream foreign aid project we contribute to the problem and to the breaches of human rights worldwide.
My question is, why do we still allow this to happen?
The monetary losses are too high to care for human lives and wellbeing, for example: important international agreements were drafted to give power to the most influential countries, China taking over Tibet with no state responsibility until today and much more.
The Geneva Conventions is an international law for humanitarian treatment in war; for example, it deals with the treatment of prisoners during the war or the protection of civilians. I believe maybe it had its purpose in the past, however, in today’s world, a document that allows war and defines the behaviour during the war should not even exist. We should in no way accept the war.
Do we really think there is not enough food and drinking water on the planet? Do we think we can’t live without the wars? Why are children dying of starvation every day?
What Can We Do about it?
- Don’t support mainstream foreign aid projects. Always check where your money goes (for example ,you can choose to support smaller NGO in Africa that works based on offering direct micro loans to the local people rather than mainstream projects giving thing like food and secondhand clothing for free). If you don’t have time, ask for recommendations from your friends or your conscious community.
- Organisations that will supervise non corruption, supervise that the wealth stays in the continent and the corruption is decreasing. These organisations will support practical education, easy access to basic needs, support of local businesses and preservation of human rights (no child labour, human trafficking, sexual exploitation etc.). Supporting projects that help people of the third world countries becoming empowered through creating local small and mid-size businesses that will create jobs for the community.
- Let’s eradicate powerlessness in foreign aid projects. This could be, for example, by supporting people to stand up but let the person walk on his own. All the projects aiming to help third world should apply this concept.
- In my opinion, you can also support the local business wherever you live. If you buy flowers in a flower shop with certified locally grown flowers, you are automatically saying no to flowers exported from third world countries. This of course contributes to breaches of human rights such as child labour, sexual attacks of female workers, health of the workers jeopardised (working with pesticides).
Relevant Documentary Checklist:
Poverty, Inc. documentary mentioned in this article, documentary Thrive II. for inspiration on how we can all contribute to New Earth. Cold Case Hammarskjolf documentary. Blood in the Mobile documentary.
Interesting read on this topic: Waris Dirie Black Women White Country (only in German language available).