Sociology Assignment

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Assignment 1: The Effects of War and Peace on Foreign Aid

Use the Internet to research one (1) developing nation of your choice. Your research should include an examination of the effects that war and peace have on the distribution of foreign aid, as well as the material covered by the Webtext and lectures in Weeks 1 through 3.

Write a three to four (3-4) page research paper in which you:

Assess the positive and negative effects that peace and war, respectively, have on the distribution of foreign aid in the developing country that you have selected. Support your response with concrete examples of each of the results that you have cited.

Analyze the specific actions that the leadership of the selected country has taken, through the use of its foreign aid from donor nations and international lending institutions, to relieve the severe problems caused by warfare.

Discuss whether or not the extension of foreign aid has successfully reduced poverty and the incidence of warfare in the selected country. 

Support your response with examples.

Use at least five (5) quality academic resources in this assignment. 

Note: Wikipedia, blogs, and other nonacademic websites do not qualify as academic resources. Approval of resources is at the instructor’s discretion. Resources must also be within the last seven (7) years.  
When referencing the selected resources, please use the following format: 

Webtext Format:

Name of the author. Name of title. Retrieved from website url.

Example:

Soomo. Understanding Development [Webtext]. Retrieved from http://www.webtexts.com/courses/9218-cathey.

Lecture Format:

Name of the Author. Name of the lecture [lecture type]. Retrieved from lecture url.
Example:

Strayer University. (2013). Understanding Development [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from /bbcswebdav/institution/SOC/300/1136/Week1/lecture/story.html.

Internet Resources:

Author’s Name. (Date of publication). Title of the resource. Retrieved from website url.
Example:

Wuestewald, Eric. (2014). Portraits of people living on a dollar a day. Retrieved from http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2014/04/living-on-a-dollar-a-day-photos-renee-byer-thomas-nazario.

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.

Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

Analyze how funding in the form of aid, investment, and loans moves from industrialized nations to the developing world to alleviate the problems caused by warfare.

Use technology and information resources to research issues in the sociology of developing countries.

Write clearly and concisely about the sociology of developing countries using proper writing mechanics.

Answer

War, Peace and Foreign Aid

The Effect of War and Peace on Foreign Aid

Contents

Introduction. 2

Overview of the Rwandan Genocide and How Foreign Aid was Distributed. 2

The Role of Leadership in Foreign Aid Utilization. 4

Foreign Aid, Poverty Reduction and the Impact of War. 5

Conclusion. 5

References. 7

Introduction

On the 7th April 1994, genocide broke out in Rwanda in what marked one hundred days of mass murder of the Tutsi by the Hutu (Badru, 2010). This was a manifestation of the Rwandan Civil War offset by conflicts between the Hutu majority government and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) representing the Tutsi. Rwanda is an accurate and practical representation of the impact of armed conflicts on foreign aid. This aid played a huge role during the unrest in Rwanda and continues to play a progressive role in the developing country’s struggle to repair its political, social, and economic structures (Munir & Fumitaka, 2010). The goal of the presentation is to investigate the positive and negative effects that peace and war have had on the distribution of foreign aid, the actions that the country’s leadership has taken, and whether the extension of aid has reduced poverty and the occurrence of warfare in Rwanda.  Although serious concerns have been raised regarding donor countries’ and organizations’ responses at the beginning of the Rwandan genocide, foreign aid greatly contributed to the resolution of the conflict and the country’s reconstruction.

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Overview of the Rwandan Genocide and How Foreign Aid was Distributed

The Rwandan genocide came as a surprise to the world.  Many people were unaware of the unrest, attacks and riots that had preceded it. Immediately it broke out, though, many international non-governmental organizations and the United Nations had begun extending relief to the country (Riddel, 2010). Foreign aid began pouring in as the war heightened, people got injured, incapacitated, displaced and even killed.

Sadly, much of the UN and global intervention was described as having been inadequate. The US, UK and Belgian were criticized for their inaction while France was accused of actively supporting the Hutus before, during and after the genocide. Direct foreign aid came in the form of medical assistance, food, shelter, finance and security. As the genocide escalated, close to one million Tutsis were killed, and this further fueled the efforts by RPF under Paul Kagame to increase their efforts towards taking control of Kigali and the government (Badru, 2010). As the RPF continued gaining more military and political strength, many Hutus began to escape to the neighboring Zaire, settling in refugee camps in Goma.

One of the biggest shortcomings of foreign aid distribution was the fact that most assistance was directed towards these refugees in Goma most of whom were Hutus, the active perpetrators of the murders. Therefore, this was seen as a form of support to the people who had carried out the genocide fleeing to escape the wrath of the new RPF government. Soon afterwards, these Hutus began regrouping with the intention of waging attacks against the government (Badru, 2010). This situation encouraged more people to engage in violence before escaping to Goma to access foreign aid and security. Ironically, those who had been injured raped and left for dead received less aid compared to the assailants.

This is the most profound demonstration of the negative effect of war on foreign aid. It often calls for more aid but allows little planning for fair distribution of the resources. More so, it appears that the aid actually ended up fuelling the war and sustaining it for a long period. To a greater extent, it causes overreliance on organizations and countries which then translates to political and economic exploitation. Evidently, there was a lot of international manipulation by the west before and during the war.

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On the other hand, aid has indeed facilitated the rebuilding of the Rwandan nation through supervision and governance support. The UN and World Bank have closely funded development projects, provided judicial support and monitored Rwanda’s growth in the last twenty years (Riddel, 2010). Many other countries have also directly invested in the country and, by extension, exposed the East African region to growth in trade and tourism.

The Role of Leadership in Foreign Aid Utilization

President Paul Kagame’s post-genocide era government has focused on re-establishing the country’s social institutions and infrastructure. The government has set in motion a strategy to reform the political and social structure from the bottom to the top. This began with a goal of restoring the legal and judicial system which had been completely wiped out. Undoubtedly, this has been one of the greatest achievements of the government. More courts have been set up to handle the cases of those who perpetuated the genocide, such as Gacaca and trial courts. There have also been trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to deal with those responsible for planning and orchestrating the war at senior levels. Thus, the judicial system has been streamlined and made transparent in an attempt to create freedom and equality for every ethnic group.

The government has also focused on extensive social rehabilitation to eliminate trauma and hate between the Tutsi and Hutu communities. Many programs have been set up in commemoration of this period to further enlighten future generations on the importance of peace. During all these efforts, the country has also received, and utilized fairly well, a lot of global social and economic aid and support to restore the country’s institutions and promote stability.

Finally the country’s leadership has collaborated with many countries, including Canada, Australia, the US and UK, to open up the country to multilateral agreements and trade relations (Hasnat, 2013). Consequently, Rwanda is among the few African countries that have recorded significant economic growth.. It has one of the fastest growing economies among developing countries on the continent. It is for this reason that it was able to meet almost all of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 (Marvin 2014).

Foreign Aid, Poverty Reduction and the Impact of War

The foreign aid provided to Rwanda after the war has generously reduced poverty and war. The government has carefully utilized these resources for the benefit of all its citizens and the development of infrastructure (Baliamoune-Lutz, 2013). Much of the global aid in form of social support has also created awareness and stability that maintains the political and ethnic stability in the country.

Nevertheless, corruption remains widespread in government operations and resource distribution. In addition, some rural areas continue to experience extreme poverty and shortage of amenities such as electricity. It is important for the government to focus on equal distribution of resources to avoid further unrest resulting from feelings of exclusion or discrimination based on ethnicity. 

Conclusion

            In recent times, the developed world has turned much of its aid, investment and loan facilities to the African continent (Shen & Houanye, 2012). This has been facilitated by factors such as the recent stability in most African countries and an abundance of resources. This funding has equipped most economies, such as Rwanda, with a platform to exploit their full potential following wars. However, there is a need for transparency and proper governance to ensure fair distribution and planning for the resources with a goal of long-term sustainability especially in nations that have suffered major setbacks due to war.

References

Badru, P. (2010). Ethnic Conflict and State Formation in Post-Colonial Africa: A Comparative Study of Ethnic Genocide in the Congo, Liberia, Nigeria and Rwanda-Burundi. Journal of Third World Studies, 27(2), 149-169

Baliamoune-Lutz, M. (2013). Financial Development and Income in African Countries. Contemporary Economic Policy, 31(1), 163-175.

Hasnat, B. (2010). American Foreign Aid before and during the War on Terror: An Empirical Examination. The Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, 35(1), 79-94.

Marvin, J. (2014). Twenty Years After Genocide, Life Expetancy Doubles in Rwanda. The Lancet, 3(2), 15-19.

Munir, Q. & Fumitaka,  F. (2011). An Empirical Analysis of the Motivations behind Foreign Aid Distibution. IUP Journal of Applied Economics, 10(2), 28-39.

Riddel, E. (2010). Can the United Nations Do Anything? International Journal, 65(2), 361-370

Shen, S. & Houanye, P. (2012). Foreign Direct Investment in Africa: Securing Chinese Investment for lasting Development, the Case of West Africa. Review of Business and Finance Studies, 3(2), 103-117.

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