Can Foreign Aid Save Africa?
Congress is poised to pass the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) authorizing up to $50 million in unconstitutional foreign aid. The bill passed out of the Foreign Affairs Committee with a bipartisan agreement to nearly double the President's requested amount. It is always distressing to see officials in our government reach across the aisle to disregard Constitutional limitations.
Much of this aid will run through government-to-government channels and will be vulnerable to corruption. Some of the aid will be sent to faith-based organizations who, along with accepting government largess, will now be subject to governmental controls and will soon become more dependent on taxpayer funding than private funds. If they accept the aid, they must be careful of the vague language regarding what types of programs they can run. For example, the requirement that 33% of any funding received must go toward abstinence-only programs has been dropped and replaced with a 50% requirement toward behavior change. Many humanitarian organizations are incensed by the politicized requirements placed on their work, and feel they are being forced to continue failed programs at the expense of more effective ones.
The obvious question
remains: Why are politicians in the
Afrobarometer, a leading source of data on public attitudes in
decide what is best for
The energy that lobbying groups and celebrities expend for charitable causes here on the Hill could be better put to use actually addressing problems. It is sadly symptomatic of the trend toward bigger government that instead of private fundraising efforts, people put their hand out to Congress. It is unfortunate that some activists prefer funding taken by force, to donations freely given.
These efforts, though
well-meaning, are misguided. The truth is all the foreign aid in the world
will not transform