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October 15, 2009
America’s obligation to impoverished nations

Children in Ethiopia’s highlands. Photo: Flickr user turkairo

Organizations large and small — from the World Bank to local NGOs — are working to eliminate public health scourges in Africa. Whether sending malaria prophylactics or collecting leftover medical supplies, Americans also contribute to the fight against major health problems.

Do you think the United States has a moral obligation to do more to alleviate hunger and disease around the world?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

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Comments

20 comments

#20

see what is in the major newspapers: http://www.lafsar.com

#19

Yes, not only America, but also the industrialized nations.

#18

The size of Earth (and resources) is finite. Human population (without birth control) is infinite.

Man is consuming fish stocks, minerals, forests, wild life, soils, water, and converting life sustaining oxygen into CO2 at an increasingly rapid rate.

Earth doesn’t need more consumers.

Feed any animal and it will multiply. Man is no exception.

#17

Yes, we have a moral obligation to alleviate world poverty and disease. However, all countries, especially the wealthier nations, must work together (through organizations such as the UN) in order to achieve this. The root-causes of poverty and disease need to be identified and studied. The problem must be dealt with at various levels (local, political, global, economic, social, etc.) and a smart, comprehensive approach needs to be taken.

#16

As far as Israel and Palestieans are concerned – war is war and war is ugly. But it was not Israel that used their people as bate for the media to watch. It was Hamas they are the ones that ought to be tried for war crimes. As for the United States Moral obligation to feed hungry nations – it’s a world problem not just the US. We never see the Russians doing any thing – any thing good that is! But as it relates to feeding. The world ought to teach those countries how to farm and harvest, how to set up and develop self governments and stop the war lords from killing each other and equally important those countries need to curb population growth – what good does it do to feed 50 million people today and tomorrow there will be 55 million to feed – birth control would help and their own moral obligation would also help. JW @ USA

#15

Quite the contrary the United States has a moral obligation to see that people who profess to have a country exercise that responsibility. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a meal, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Many Third World countries have squandered the fish and ignored the lessons while still sticking their hand out. It is one thing to point out that the United States and other European Countries have extensively exploited and usurped much of the Third World and have an obligation to submit to justice for those abuses, but to demand that the United States become the worlds care taker, ignores the need for all people rich and poor to act rationally and responsibly.

#14

We, as well as every other technologically developed nation, as a nation and collectively as individuals, as well as the well-to-do in poor countries have an absolute moral and ethical obligation to do as much as we can to ensure that every single human being, in one’s own country, as in every other country, has access to the essentials of life: food, safe drinking water, health care and climate-appropriate shelter. Foreign aid for political purposes should be stopped and replaced by humanitarian aid. A question mark exists only where brutal leaders like Mugabe siphon off most of such aid to their supporters. Having UN agencies in charge of distribution is the best way of trying to overcome such diversion. It’s unrealistic to think that all corruption can be avoided, considering how many corrupt corporate and political leaders we have in the U.S., but it is reasonable to expect that such corruption is minimized.

#13

if we aren’t @ 110% we cant take care “babysit” anyone else!

#12

Our efforts in Africa are just making the over population problem there worse. The population in Africa is already too large to be sustained and this is contributing to the destruction of the environment in Africa and the loss of the magnifigant African wildlife and rain forests.

#11

Martin, you ask whether the US should be doing more to help the developing world. This is an American hypocrisy: you asked the question after the discussion about birth deaths – according to the WHO the US is 24th in the world in the number of deaths of infants at birth – how can a country that is unable to save its own babies help others save theirs? In fact Cuba does a lot better than the US and they are helping medically in developing countries. Its time the US got its act together at home and stopped looking elsewhere to make comparisons.

#10

Hi Martin, Christine (poster #10)

ST: Smart Aid to Africa

Christine points to the real problem with aiding any country. Human/Leadership Capital that works and works for that country’s citizens/slaves.

I haven’t read her referenced book yet I have heard interviews on this topic.

A funny group started after “The Vagina Monologues” actually helps African women throw off centuries and centuries of bad health behavior towards women.

Before money is spend I would like to see a REAL plan for how to uplift that country. The plan has to include the participation of China and India lest we find ourselves supporting them again while they pillage resources.

#9

I’m torn on this subject. I have been to Africa 3 times on humanitarian trips. Bringing a lot of supplies and a lot of monetary donations. I have recently read the book Dead Aid, which discusses 60 years of aid to Africa, and in some cases it has made their situation worse. I believe only self sustaining project should be supported. African governments are the root of the problem and need to be held accountable to their people.

#8

absolutely not!! By our meddling, we have encouraged population growth with no way of taking care of the new mouths to feed. Challenge Malthus and you lose in the end. These people cannot support themselves now, let alone in the future.

#7

No at this time. First these nations need to mandate by law birth control. If a country can not take care of their present population how can they take care of more. When this action is put into effect, then all the industrialized nations can help in some way, because this shows that they are at least trying to help themselves.

#6

Yes, I believe we have a moral and ethical obligation to help others who do not have the means to help themselves. It does not matter if its a person u walk by on the street that needs help or someone in a developing country.

#5

yes we should help,just what is waisted in this country would feed the whole world.

#4

Yes, we have a moral responsibility to help the people of Africa who are in great need of help. We, as Americans, can not afford to turn our backs on those in need at home and abroad. But for the grace of God, go I.

#3

To reiterate,we should help those hungry nations that do not cause their own problems,and we should help countries to be self-sufficient rather than dumping food and medicine on them.

#2

I think the U.S along with other prosperous industrialized nations in the world should set aside about %4 of their gross domestic monies and through the world bank those funds should be distributed each year to help the poor nations.
I think what ex president Clinton is doing with his efforts in New York to get together businesses to help the poor, should be praised.

#1

No. I feel we have to take care of our own first
We cannot police,or feed the world.

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