There has been an after school buzz this term in the Geography enrichment program with lots going on! Year 7 were looking at whether we should continue to fund training for winter sports such as those in the Winter Olympics, Year 8 were in the final stage of their ‘Sustainable Waingels’ project, presenting their findings to Mr Bartlett, Mr Salberg and the Governors and Year 9 were looking at whether countries should be giving aid to developing countries or investing in infrastructure and industry.
Mia and Amy started off on the same side of the argument but as the conversation turned towards whether we have a moral obligation to support developing countries, they soon found themselves arguing against each other. Both girls had interesting and insightful viewpoints and put forward valid arguments. I will let you decide where you stand!
As shown in Comic Relief adverts every year, as we sit on our sofas trying not to bawl our eyes out, our mind is more concentrated on a starving innocent child in an inhumane situation, than if we called and donated, where our money would be going to. With Sports Relief last week, the question is even more relevant and significant: “Should we be helping these countries at all?” Whilst I understand that we aren’t in any political debt to them, there are many benefits to helping these countries, not only for them but for us too. There are political benefits such as improving stability to enable future trade with Britain and influencing legal systems that are outdated or corrupt. There is also a wealth of cultural benefits such as the introduction of new styles, foods and music creating an overall more diverse and interesting planet to live on. And whilst we are not in any political debt, are we not in debt as humans? As individuals we all deserve the right to an education; suitable living standards; a steady income to have adequate food and water; and freedom from the exploitation. So not only is this about where we stand politically, but where we stand as humans?
We don’t have a moral obligation to give aid to developing countries despite the fact that a lot of countries that now require aid. Many of these countries asked for their independence and wanted to govern themselves. We cannot be held responsible for their government becoming corrupt. Also it’s not that the countries don’t have money it’s that the majority of money is with the minority of people (if the 5 richest people in Nepal shared out their money it would be enough to lift the country out of poverty). It’s not that they have a lack of money it’s that the government is using the money in the wrong way. If our economy collapses, the people that depend on this aid money will be in a worse situation than before (the Great Depression is part of the reason WWII started.) So instead of giving aid to corrupt governments we should be trying to rid the countries of corruption so money will be more evenly distributed among people.