The Effects of War and Peace on Foreign Aid
Foreign aid refers to the aid that countries that struggling with economic challenges and lack of peace receive from other countries. Usually, countries receive foreign aid in form of military assistance, economic goods, medical supplies, and sometimes technical assistance. Foreign aid extended to countries that are in need is usually meant to provide rehabilitation and relief to the countries that are struggling with one problem or another. Over the years, various countries, especially developing ones, have found themselves as beggars for foreign aid. Somalia is one such country that has experienced turmoil for more than two decades to the extent that it has been crippled. Although foreign aid has been extended from all corners of the world, the continuous war and temporary periods of peace have posed great challenges.
The Positive and Negative Effects of Peace in Somalia on Foreign Aid Distribution
In the face of persistent turmoil in Somalia, peace has been unreal to come by. Nonetheless, peace has been restored in some parts of Somalia through military aid provided by the African Union and the Kenya Defense Forces. With peace being restored in those few areas, the circulation of foreign aid, especially in form of medical and food supplies has improved. The staff working for donors has been able to penetrate into the interior to reach those who are in need of foreign aid (Agyeman-Togobo, 2009). Many regions such as Galkayo and the capital City Mogadishu can now receive foreign aid because there has been a restoration of peace after the Al-Shabaab terrorists were driven out by the country’s military with foreign help.
The fragile peace that has been experienced in Somalia also has negative effects on foreign aid distribution. It should be noted that Somalia’s dependence on foreign aid has risen and therefore whenever peace is restored the people request aid. This gives the distributers of aid a hard time because they become overwhelmed by the demand of foreign support. Therefore, they are forced to leave out other areas. This creates even more unrest with attacks on the distributers of foreign aid being reported (Gettleman, 2010).
The Positive and Negative Effects of War in Somalia on Foreign Aid Distribution
Whereas war has almost brought Somalia to its knees, it has affected foreign aid distribution positively. It should be noted that providers of external support usually pay attention to the need for help and not the cause of the problem. Therefore, the war in Somalia has made providers and distributors of foreign aid such as the Red Cross to swing into action very fast. For this reason, the citizens of Somalia have been able to receive support in good time.
War has had negative effects on foreign distribution because it has rendered most parts of Somalia inaccessible because staff working for donors has had to keep away from war-torn areas and areas with large Al-Shabaab militant concentration, such as Kismayu (Chan, 2010). There have been cases where external support distributors especially those from the UN have been caught in the crossfire. Some of the foreign distributors have lost their lives in the course of work. Therefore, war has crippled foreign distribution in most parts of Somalia.
Actions That the Somalia Leadership Has Taken To Relieve the Problems of Warfare
Somalia has faced a fair share of problems following years of war and political unrest. The war has led to the deterioration of the economic conditions of Somalia (Maddaala, 2011). However, the new Government of Somalia under the leadership of Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid is working with providers of foreign aid to contain the threat of Al-Shabaab militants. The government of Somalia has done this by collaborating with AMISOM and UN troops who have given the military of Somalia the much-needed help. The government of Somalia has also been making use of financial help especially from the UN and other international aid agencies to put in place a robust military and revive the country’s economy.
Effects of Foreign Aid on Poverty Reduction in Somalia
Although foreign aid has characterized today’s world, the question that has been consistently raised pertains to the effect of this external support on the recipient countries. For instance, Somalia has been a recipient of foreign aid for over two decades but poverty levels have not reduced significantly. Somalia still struggles with the problems of poverty, illiteracy, and disease same as it did in the early 1990s (Adujie, 2009). This shows that most of the aid extended to Somalia has not been tailored to solve the problem at hand. The United Nations for instance has concentrated on providing food and medical supplies. Although military aid has also been provided, very little progress has been realized because the UN troupes have not combated the political aggression directly. For this reason, the citizenry of Somalia has done extremely little to release itself from the chain of poverty because they have been comfortable with foreign aid (Chan, 2010). With the situation persisting, parties that have been offering external support in Somalia have argued that they should be judged by the motive behind their actions and not just the results. However, the intervention of the African Union through the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops has created more hope as it has concentrated on providing military aid. Consequently, peace has been restored in many parts of Somalia, allowing economic activities to pick up.
The political turmoil that has characterized Somalia has caught the attention of the whole world. With the Al-Shabaab terrorist playing a major part in the chaos, many providers of foreign aid have come in to provide aid in a bid to relieve the country from the effects of war. However, the war itself has crippled the efforts of donors by rendering most parts of Somalia inaccessible. Therefore, lasting peace has to be restored in Somalia for the country to benefit from foreign aid.