Articles About International Aid
Of all Christ’s teachings as reflected in the gospel accounts, there is none as consistent as his defense of the poor and downtrodden. This teaching applies also to international relations and individual and societal responsibilities toward the poor and marginalized beyond one’s own borders. The Christian desire to assist the economic development of poorer peoples is founded on the principle at the heart of the Christian life: love. To be concerned about and act in favor of the poor around the world is to practice the virtue of charity.
Many of the ills of globalization are the result of top-down planning rather than free markets, but this realization needs to be balanced against another: Global capitalism can't of itself supply the cultural and moral formation worthy of the human person and essential for human flourishing. Even if we could purge much of the cronyism and misguided central planning from the process of globalization, the global market wouldn't suddenly supply the cultural and moral formation essential for widespread economic and human flourishing. This is not the function of a market, and both the critics and supporters of an international process of globalization and free exchange need to understand this clearly.
The stench as you stand on the edge of the city dump in Guatemala City is overpowering. Even more overwhelming is the realization that crashes into your heart and mind: 3,000 families actually live here. Children and parents fight the vultures and pigs and search through the garbage for small “treasures”–bits of nylon, scraps of plastic and discarded jewelry–to resell to open air marketeers. I’ll never erase the gut-wrenching picture from my mind.
As the global recession continues to shatter wealth and jobs around the world, it’s heartening to know that some people aren’t looking to governments to solve all their economic problems. From shanty-towns in developing countries to the once-mighty centers of international finance, thousands of people are turning to their greatest resource – themselves – and trying to create new streams of wealth through the power of entrepreneurial discovery.
Amid the hoopla surrounding the resignation of World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, few noticed another battle going on within the World Bank on the question of population. According to press reports Bank Managing Director and former Finance Minister for El Salvador, Juan Jose Daboub, came under fire for a memo he sent allegedly directing that reproductive health measures be removed from a World Bank package to Madagascar. He was accused of imposing his religious beliefs on long standing policies of the bank involving reproductive health and family planning.