Foreign aid is provided by countries that are more privileged than others in order to support development efforts. This is usually complemented by non-governmental organizations or individuals who have resources to spare. Such resources are used to assist in meeting the needs of those who are less fortunate. Despite the fact that so much has been said concerning foreign aid, it is generally difficult to measure or even justify the effectiveness of foreign aid.
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Usually, foreign aid can be offered in different forms. In some instances, it has been given in form of food such as when a nation or group of people is faced with starvation. Countries such as Haiti have received foreign aid in form of emergency assistance or military support.
This paper focuses on the effects of war and peace on foreign aid in Kenya. Apparently, the level of support needed by a developing country varies depending on whether a nation is a peace or war.
Positive and Negative Effects of Peace and War on Distribution of Foreign Aid in Kenya
Kenya is one of the developing countries located in the Eastern part of Africa. Like other developing nations, Kenya depends heavily on foreign aid to support different development projects. Drawing from a study by Moyo (2009), foreign aid is responsible for slow growth and poverty in developing nations. Because of heavy reliance on foreign aid, the state of poverty in Kenya is worsening day by day.
While Kenya is generally regarded as a peaceful nation, there have been instances when the country has been at war for different reasons. To a large extent, war in Kenya is a result of political or tribal differences. Sadly, many lives are lost and survivors are often subjected to very harsh conditions. Depending on the magnitude of the war, people may be displaced from the comfort of their homes.
Poor governance has been blamed for misuse of foreign aid in most African nations (Phy, 2010). Ostensibly, recipient countries that are deemed to be corrupt and poorly governed lose a big chunk of foreign aid during times of war. Kenya is one of the developing countries that have badly been affected by corruption and poor governance over the years. Poorly governed countries such as Kenya have been accused of misusing foreign aid and causing innocent people to suffer. Drawing from a study by Pietrzyk (2002), increased foreign aid leads to serious problems in poorly governed nations. Instead of using foreign aid to bring about peace and promote development, corrupt individuals in poorly governed countries use the resources received for their own selfish desires.
A peaceful environment gives the impression that there is a stable government in place and this encourages those who are able to offer foreign aid to do so without reservations. According to Ehrenfeld (2004), the United States is one of the countries that are concerned about democratic governance. Consequently, a country that is keen to promote good governance is likely to receive foreign aid from the United States and other like minded countries.
In the recent past, Kenya has received foreign aid from different countries that are interested in ensuring that the country remains stable. To a large extent, countries that have been keen on offering aid to developing nations such as Kenya do so to promote stability and good governance. The need for a secure and stable environment is a key agenda for most leaders in the world and many people are willing to support efforts to create peace and steadiness. For this reason, countries that are regarded as being stable work extremely hard to support the development agenda of developing countries.
Actions Taken by the Leadership of Kenya
The leadership of Kenya has taken various actions to relieve severe problems caused by warfare. Recently, the country embarked on an elaborate exercise of scrutinizing the operations of non-governmental organizations in order to ensure that any foreign aid that is sent to Kenya through such organizations is used I the right way. A top priority for the government is to see to it that foreign aid is not used to fund activities that lead to war.
Extension of Foreign Aid versus Reduction of Poverty and the Incidence of Warfare in Kenya
In my opinion, the extension of foreign aid has not helped much to reduce poverty and incidences of warfare in in Kenya. By and large, foreign aid has been used to support illegal activities that have caused many innocent people to suffer. Recently, the leadership of Kenya discovered that a number of organizations operating in Kenya have been using foreign aid to support the operations of the Al-Shabaab terror group. Unfortunately, this revelation comes at a time when the country has already lost so many lives acts of terrorism.
Clearly, war and peace affect foreign aid in different ways. As pointed out in this paper, recipient countries receive foreign aid based on their ability to govern effectively. While poor governance may lead to reduction in the amount of foreign aid received by a country, good governance attracts more foreign aid. In times of peace, it is very likely that recipient countries will receive greater support in order to create a stable environment and create an opportunity for citizens to live happily.
Ehrenfeld, D. (2004). Foreign Aid Effectiveness, Political Rights and Bilateral Distribution. Web.
Moyo, D. (2009). Why Foreign Aid Is Hurting Africa. Web.
Phy, S. (2010). Foreign Aid-Corruption Nexus in Cambodia: Its Consequences on the Propensity of Civil War. Norderstedt, Germany: GRIN Verlag. Web.
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Pietrzyk, M. E. (2002). International Order and Individual Liberty: Effects of War and Peace on the Development of Governments. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America. Web.