Mali is the major recipient of foreign aid. Foreign aid plays an integral role in the economic, social, and political sustainability of the developing country. Foreign aid is a form of humanitarian act or assistance is given to a developing country in times of war or hunger crises. Wars in developing countries are often a pre-planned activity meant to cause wrangles among parties to destabilize the material and psychological hierarchy of equality or power. Peace in this essay will refer to lack of hostility, violence, and people living free from fear of conflict. The thesis seeks to discuss the impact of war and peace regarding the foreign aid distribution and the role of the state leadership in this question.
Positive and Negative Effect that Peace and War have on Distribution of Foreign Aid in Mali
Mali, located in West Africa, was endowed with enormous natural and human capital suffering from military dictatorship, civil unrest, and war. Due to these factors, Mali has now become among the least developed nations in the world. Warfare in Mali has led to adverse effects on the people living in that country as they have limited access to basic security and necessities such as food, water, and livelihoods (Velton, 2010). Most people in this country are living below the recognized international poverty line. According to Velton (2010), foreign aid in Mali brought about the significant positive impact of democratic consolidation. These impacts included strengthening the economy of Mali and civil society, conflict resolution, and moral support. However, despite these positive changes, the donors failed to address weak institution accountability, religious cleavages, and the widening gap between the elites and the average Malians. In addition, the primary purpose of the foreign aid was not achieved as there was an unequal distribution of the foreign aid, which discriminated against a particular marginalized group or sometimes slow response time by the donors led to increased conflict in the regions. As a result, there was a high rate of recurrence of the conflict. Some areas were faced with weak executive accountability, which inhibited a balanced distribution of foreign aid and the involvement of the citizens in the process.
Actions that the Leadership of Mali Has Taken through the Use of Its Foreign Aid to Relieve the Severe Problems Caused by Warfare
The major donors have contributed to encouragement and bringing about significant changes. On the other hand, the government of Mali has been making a series of adjustments and coming up with stabilization programs which are traced back from 1982. Measures on reducing government and budgetary deficits were put in place, but the situation became worse in 1987 when the country needed financial help. Through this time, Mali has been faced with war and crises and received donations, but the leaders have failed to use the vast donations they receive to improve the living standards of its people (IBP, 2016). Instead, they have taken advantage of the aid for their own benefit and achievement of personal goals. This action resulted in the massive diversion of foreign aid for other personal gains and usage.
Analyzing the Success/Effects of Foreign Aid on Poverty and Warfare in Mali
Dating back to 2012, Mali became controlled by the military of an Islamist secessionist movement, which later led to the military coup. Before this, Mali had been regarded as a low-income democracy receiving donations from western donors. The aid amounted to twelve to fifteen percent of the country’s GNI (gross national income), totaling fifty percent of the government`s annual budget.
Foreign aid in Mali has brought amount noticeable positive changes. Even though democracy aid only accounts for one percent of the total aid, its record proves to have reasonable success. Foreign aid has helped Mali’s civil society expand significantly from few national organizations to 8542 organizations and 1125 NGOs officially registered by the late 2000s. It is worth noting that economic aid given to Mali was helpful in promoting democratic consolidation through its positive effects on economic growth. According to IBP (2016), economic growth and transformation contribute to democratic consolidation. This can be reflected in the case of Mali. Positive impacts drawn from the aid led to economic growth, which positively affected Mali`s democracy.
Foreign aid strengthened Mali’s economy and democracy and facilitated positive measures to maintain conflict resolutions and electoral assistance. Despite these positive changes, the donors failed to provide measures that curb recurrent war or unrest in the future. In addition, donors have failed to address the lack of accountability of the main executive. It can be said that in some instances, donors worsened the problem of being accountable. Concerning vertical accountability, the country is not aligned with the idea of democracy controlled government. According to Heintze and Theietborer (2016), many of the funding policies from the western donors were not contested by any politician. The citizens could use their votes to make the government accountable.
Foreign aid also affected undermining horizontal accountability. For instance, foreign aid stretched the position of president Toure during the two terms, from 2002 to 2012. Furthermore, there was a new perspective that remaining in the opposition was a less attractive venture for the politicians. It was hard for the executive to be held accountable since the direct budget supports took place outside the legislative process.
The widening gap between the masses and the elites was worrying. The widening gap was primarily due to the language barrier, whereby French is the official language of the country even though, unfortunately only, a few can speak. French is the official language of many institutions in the country and the government. In 2010, the minister was forced to resign due to the accusations of the corruption scandal and misuse of funds given by the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Malaria, and Tuberculosis (Varin & Abubakar, 2017). All these kinds of threat were a challenge to Malian democracy even though the donors failed to address and had no control.
Despite receiving foreign aid, the Malian democracy was weakening, mainly due to the dramatic difference in prosperity between Bamako city and other provinces. The donors failed to address the regional imbalance and at the same time provide a considerable medium-term structural challenge that can be used by the Maluna democracy.
The process of distributing the donation was curbed with a lot of challenges. The process of selecting the needy people in the community to benefit from the foreign aid has been unbalanced Community and self-appointed. Leaders seem to be involved in making a significant decision regarding the aid (Moyo, 2011). As a result, it can be said that the foreign aid ended up benefiting from the few who were in power as opposed to those in critical conditions, and it needs assistance. Those who had access to information resources were the ones who mainly benefited from foreign aid. They also had easy access to specific areas, such as the decamped areas. The players were hugely involved in the decision of those who should receive the donation, and in other cases, they wanted the recipient to remit a specific portion of their aid.
This essay has documented the effects of foreign aid on Mali, where its effectiveness has been brought to light. According to the events documented, it is clear that the aid given to the nation increased the country`s dependency, which has led to its accelerating level of poverty. Due to increased dependency on foreign aid, the country has become one of the five least developed countries that depend on food from Western donors for the survival of its people. The thesis indicated the effect that war and peace have on foreign aid in the developing nation.
Heintze, H.-J., & Thielbörger, P. (2016). From Cold War to cyber war: The evolution of the international law of peace and armed conflict over the last 25 years. Springer International Publishing.
IBP. (2016). Mali country study guide: Volume 1: Strategic information and developments. IBP USA.
Moyo, D. (2011). Dead aid: Why aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Varin, C., & Abubakar, D. (2017). Violent non-state actors in Africa: Terrorists, rebels and warlords. Palgrave Macmillan.
Velton, R. (2010). Mali. FBE.