Foreign aid: advantage and disadvantage



Foreign aid is more like investment in a risky market situation. Just
like buying a badly run company, investment in underdeveloped nations
is subject to analysis, competence building and patient nurturing of
the resources.

From the nation recipient point of view, foreign aid provides both
advantage and disadvantage.

If it's well planned and orchestrated, it gives more advantage than
disadvantage. On the contrary, if it's not well thought out, the
implementation can be catastrophic and painful. Japan and South Korea
are good examples of situation where foreign aid can really boost
national economy and eventually move these countries up the ladder of
economic development.

Foreign aid would provide poor nations extra capital to finance its
development. Things such as roads, bridges, irrigation system, schools,
electricity, digital network cannot be implemented if they are not
financed by foreign aid. They go to facilitate communication, build
competence and achieve desirable productivity. These are the building
blocks of social and economic development. Good roads lead to good
transportation. Good schools provide knowledge and expertise.
Electricity stimulates energy and movement while digital network speeds
up social and commercial transactions across regions of the world. All
these things help to integrate the national economy.

As long as planning, analysis and implementation go according to
popular wills, nations will prosper and develop. Economic events,
however, are not agendas without hidden meanings and political
manipulations. As such, they can go to create internal conflicts,
sabotage well meaning constructive ideas and even undermine development
itself.

In Cambodia, a large percentage of foreign aid go to finance technical
expertise that is inherently domain of donor nations rather than
competence building of recipient workers. Moreover, different cultural
context, the usual corruption of nation in development and ambiguous
political agendas tend to slow down social and economic implementation
and technology transfer. A wider gap of income distribution would exist
between larger metropolitan and rural areas, thus creating further
conflicts that would become more difficult to find remedy over the long
run. Instead of peace and prosperity, imbalance would cause social
injustice, unnecessary conflicts and lingering stagnation.

Chim

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