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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Culture of Corruption

I can see two contrasting situations occurring right now, both of which lead to the same problem: that our donation dollars will be of no assistance. These situations involve poorly-run governments who ultimately prolong the suffering of their countries’ citizens.

What do we do when the government doesn’t use our help?

On the one hand, the Haitian government is receiving pledges from developed countries and is not taking the necessary actions to make proper use of it. The article Where Did All the Haiti Relief Money Go? suggests that much of the money pledged by foreign nations towards Haiti relief has not actually yet been turned into cash by the government:

“Only 63.6 percent of the money (more than $10 billion) pledged for 2010 has been disbursed, according to the U.N special envoy for Haiti.”

Poor use of bilateral aid may be the reason why much of Haiti’s pledge money was not disbursed. According to the article, experts blame the Haitian government for not taking the necessary actions to turn the pledges into cash, or to make plans for where the cash can be allocated. Of course, it is the citizens of Haiti- the earthquake victims- who continue to suffer most due to this negligent behaviour.

Meanwhile the Pakistani government, on the other hand, is using its funding, including bilateral and multilateral aid, to the point of abuse. This leads me to my second question:

What do we do when the government abuses our help?

Simply put, there are errors in the Pakistani government’s economic decisions. The financial assistance Pakistan was receiving from The Asian Development Bank, World Bank and Islamic Development Bank has reportedly been suspended until a Letter of Comfort is written by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Pakistani government is “taking 2 billion rupees in loans from the State Bank of Pakistan every day to run its affairs, and the budget deficit has exceeded 500 billion rupees.” Thanks to the monetary aid they were receiving, the country’s fiscal deficit has been growing each year, thus fueling inflation. The suspension of funds only sets the government back more, especially since the Letter of Comfort, if issued, won’t even guarantee the approval of more loans. Meanwhile, the government is not taking any measures recommended by the IMF to lessen the deficit. And again, who’s the ultimate sufferer? The masses of poor people in the Pakistani community.

It is difficult for our attempts at providing international relief to be successful when poor leadership exists within the countries we aim to help. So what can we do in situations like these, to help those suffering under such weak institutional systems?

GlassFrog Blogger Sherisse


  1. Your post raises some good points. But I don't think the blame should solely be placed on the government. The funders are as much as to blame for blindly perpetuating the problem, to a point, such that they become dependent on the funds.

  2. I agree. This is just one small part of a complex issue. I was just writing an article on another piece of the problem, which I will post shortly :p

  3. off the top of my head, non-monetary donations is the first thing that comes to mind. won't in any way solve the greater problems, but things like Habitat, etc might help provide a solution

  4. I agree with the points you have raised in the work.
    The most important thing we should think about before donating our money is who it is going to? We also have to keep in mind it is because of the corrupt governments that are in power in for example Haiti and Pakistan, that these countries are lacking development and keep falling behind, in the global market.
    Now don't get me wrong many many intellects come out Pakistan, athletes, likewise with Haiti, the people have much potential but the people in power are not doing their very best to use the power. We have to look at the root of the problem, both of these countries are suppose to be democratic which they are far from.
    The read question is if we give money for the masses who are dying from hunger, are unable to find jobs, we have to find local ngo's or local ngos in our countries that are trust worthy, that will not drop money or drop food and leave but will propagate education basic human rights to every one, etc. For example education of young women and children is key.

    You can give a man a fish to eat, he will survive one night. You teach him how to fish he will survive years.

    We need to educate the people bring out there best, by starting with there civil rights especially the women, in Haiti and Pakistan both have not very high numbers of female workers that's half of economy not bringing in the revenue.

    But the leaders of these countries are definitely are one of the many problems in terms of getting the aid across.