United States Lack of Foreign Aid

April 16 16:31 2005 Print This Article

Former US President Jimmy Carter has publicly condemned his country and several other wealthy countries over their poor contributions to foreign aid.

“We really don’t give a damn”, said Carter on the subject of foreign aid.

Speaking to a human rights conference at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta on Thursday, Carter explained how important foreign aid is in the battle against certain diseases that are far more likely to occur in the poorest parts of the world.

Carter, who was president of the US between 1977 and 1981 and also won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, criticized the United States for failing to come anywhere near the United Nations target that 22 of the world’s developed nations have agreed to meet by 2015.

While the US tops the foreign aid donor list in terms of dollars and cents, when the nation’s contributions are measured on a per capita basis the results are shamefully low.

According to research, most Americans believe that 15 percent of their country’s gross national income is being spent on foreign aid while in reality it’s just a meager 0.18 percent, a figure 0.52 percent lower than the United Nations minimum target.

A handful of countries have already met the goal while others, including Germany and the United Kingdom, insist they’ll achieve it before the deadline.

Foreign aid means much more than sending bulk aid when headline catastrophes occur. On the whole, tragedies like the recent tsunami affect fewer lives than the overall lack of proper health provisions in the world’s poorest countries.

Failure to meet the minimum of what is needed to help bring health standards up to an acceptable level can only lead to more tragedy. It takes strong, healthy people to work the land, build shelter, care for their children and build a future for themselves.

By denying them the help so urgently needed, these people are being kept in a state of dependence: a state where their futures are controlled by the rich and powerful.

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