The Effects of War and Peace on Foreign Aid

The sustainability of economy and social sphere in the developing countries relies majorly on the foreign aid in the form of humanitarian and development aid. It plays an important role as a key to improvement of life standards and facilitating the economic development of the developing states. The mentioned kinds of foreign aid contribute to the progress of nations that is greatly affected by wars in those countries. The effective aid movement to the target population groups is hindered with the war actions and numerous relevant impediments. The vivid example of such developing countries in civil war is Somalia that has been struggling for decades and still has no stability in the government. The war there has its adverse effects such as starvation of people, outbreaks of diseases, lack of infrastructure, and displacement of the population into special refugee camps. It should be noted that the amounts of foreign aid provided to the country have been considerable; however, war prevalence does not let Somalia witness any improvements or gains in addressing its crucial concerns. It is possible to assume on the basis of experience of numerous countries in similar situation that war is the factor that leads to the failure in foreign aid provision and corresponding development.


Effective foreign aid distribution is possible only under the condition of peace. The majority of developing countries see considerable improvements in resolving their economic and social issues as soon as peace is maintained there. There are a number of issues in sub-Saharan Africa which are challenging to address; among them are poor resources, famine, outbreaks of HIV, malaria and other diseases. The foreign aid cannot resolve those issues in the developing states; however, its role is to make the effects of the mentioned issues less severe, prevent such issues and enhance the development for the sustainable social and economic progress. Nevertheless, the goals can be achieved only provided that peace is established. The foreign aid distribution can be effectively carried out only with the benefits and advantages peace can provide.

The majority of developing countries witness how the wars are provoked with certain political implications. The synonym for peace in the developing nations, in particular African states, is the stability in politics. Taking into account this interrelation, the benefits of peace for the foreign aid distribution are evident, as the stability of the government is a guarantee for efficient foreign aid assessment and successful reaching the aimed destination. The developing countries obtain foreign aid in the variety of forms: goods, basic products, services or capital. This variety in forms makes the aid assessment challenging. Furthermore, peace is crucial for the efficiency of foreign aid distribution since the social institutions under the condition of war in the developing nations are insufficiently developed and too complex. Therefore, the effectiveness of aid distribution can be improved only if the local bodies of the government are involved in the process. 

The functioning of local governmental bodies can be effective only under the conditions of peace without any attacks or opposition. For instance, in Somalia some areas got under the control of al-Shabaab militia, and governmental control was lost; therefore, these areas require foreign aid even more than those under the control of the government. However, the foreign aid distribution is restricted in Somalia by the al-Shabaab in a number of ways, in particular piracy, destruction of communication and transport infrastructure, and attacks on the envoys with foreign aid transportation. According to Gulligan’s report, the al-Shabaab confiscated the British foreign aid in the amount that equals to one million pounds on the way to the targeted destination. He states that there are multiple attacks on the foreign aid in the country in the form of humanitarian supply.

The al-Shabaab militia attacks in Somalia hindered the foreign aid distribution to the target groups and served as a discouragement factor for awarding other British government aids in the form of humanitarian supplies in the approximate amount of £480 000. Moreover, there are numerous reports concerning the stolen food aid meant for the starving population that is sold at the local markets. Katharine also reports about the stolen ammunitions provided as aid for the peacekeepers; that is a factor that not only prevents getting humanitarian aid by the population, but also provides the militia with weapons and strengthens them in their terrorist attacks. Besides, the Center for Public Integrity reports on the widespread corruption caused by the war in Somalia that leads to problems with food aid distribution. High level of corruption in the countries frequently entails foreign aid misappropriation by the corrupt authorities that are in charge of aid distribution.

There were several measures taken by the legitimate government of Somalia aimed at ensuring that the target population groups get the foreign aid in the intended areas. They attempt to eliminate the terror in the country with the help of military combats. Some of those actions are taken in cooperation with the Kenya Defense Forces and other foreign international forces to assist the government restore their control in the major key areas and improve distribution of aid to the people there. Cooper also points out the importance of armed support to convoys provided by the government to travel in the areas controlled by militia and protect the foreign aid. The efforts aimed at increasing the efficiency of aid distribution have been relatively effective after the military forces from the international community and Somalia were deployed. It can be explained with the effect of military assistance provided as foreign aid that helped the leadership of Somalia get back Mogadishu, Kismayu and other towns and ensure the improvement of humanitarian resources reach to the people who need help. The improvement of economic activity is seen in the decrease in the poverty rate among the local population. 

To sum up, the efficiency of foreign aid distribution in Somalia has been jeopardized with the war situation in the country. It is hindered with weapons interception that militia uses, attacks on the humanitarian aid and supplies of food which are meant to save the nation from famine, and intense corruption. All those factors entail the state of failure and destruction in the country, improper governance and reduction in the foreign aid impact. Somalia is one of the major countries that are foreign aid recipients as it badly needs international aid and support; however, the achievements are few because of civil unrest and war in the country. It can be concluded that Somalia is a vivid example which confirms that peace maintenance is a priority factor when it goes about the effectiveness of foreign aid distribution.