The paradoxical future of foreign aid

59986_kevincorrado1Under current new political standards of living it´s clear that also the way foreign aid has been delivered is changing…. or at least, is going to change dramatically. The impact of financial crisis has sundered the development for a global strategy. Alternative models like South-South cooperation are marking a new road in which the role of the private sector become more active and influential in contrast with a less coordinated and foreseeable public sector.

Although funds from governments has the element missed by the private sector: reliability, there is not enough elements to sustain that are responding with confidence.

The growing trend to isolate countries based on nationalist strategies mark a new stage for foreign aid in which there is no political will for cooperation. One of the basic principles for supporting foreign aid policies is the sense of solidarity hence, the search for a world based in equity and balance. Current crises are also part of misbalanced policies that do not have a goal on universality and supra-nationalism. As a direct consequence, private initiatives and cooperation among less developed countries become the only hope for foreign aid. However, the traditional forms are the one that gives confidence in the sense that are coordinated meanwhile private initiatives are isolated and without a harmonic strategy behind. Official foreign aid has meant to be part of a big strategy that involves a global focus that allows building commercial and financial pillars around a counterbalance strategy.

This new normal for foreign aid supposes an anarchic strategy that makes of private sector the big player of this uncoordinated game that looks more to charity than to a serious global strategy of development aid. In addition, nationalisms tend to cut with globalization but also to make of foreign aid a tool for their financial interests. As an example we have US aid to Israel of 3.2 billion for 2016 that represents 50% more than Afghanistan. Is it more than obvious that US moves by political interests rather than humanitarian ones, therefore changing complete the real goal of foreign aid. Political over humanitarian goals should not be the strategy, however is it clear that the spirit of this funding doesn´t rely on the needs of the country receiver of aid.

This new political stage pushes for an excessive freedom to the private sector in a way that does not represent a balanced distribution of resources but anarchic donations. Its important to bear in mind that defence of sovereignty should not represent looses of international sense. The interconnection –even if we were not in a global world- are so huge that is in the interest of all countries to share success and boost development. Trade is the best example that shows the need to keep countries in acceptable levels of competence.

As the picture suggests, in a “rainy” world full of crises the protection that the “umbrella” of foreign aid delivers is marking by uncertainty and an anarchic distribution. This situation would make of aid an arbitrary map of intermittent initiatives without global coordination.

A paradoxical future is expected in which private initiatives will achieve a predominant role, although without a proper coordination. Even if nationalist positions will not prosper in their goals its clear that there is a philosophy towards reducing aid; in some cases coming from a real financial reality that do not allow them to focus on external goals but to national crisis.

The future is switching for foreign aid in diverse forms than traditional ones, which not necessary represents a failure but a reshape that needs to place public and private sector into new standards and a new dynamic.

Coordination, sense of solidarity and institutional global strength are the key for making of foreign aid another agent of change and world balance.

 

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