CIMUN Chronicle / Article / 1994

Foreign aid during the Vietnam war era

IPD Article Image - Foreign aid during the Vietnam war era

By Tejas Chakravarthy, The Chronicle

The world is facing serious geopolitical tensions from the deteriorating situation in Indochina. It is imperative for nations to strategize and coordinate foreign aid policies to help Vietnam develop economically. This aid comes in many forms, including political, military, and economic assistance. Donor countries expect to further their ideology while helping resolve the conflict between North and South Vietnam. Foreign aid also serves to further economic development, such as improved infrastructure and well-being of citizens. Unfortunately, military assistance often leads to a proxy war between countries vying for influence. The communist powers of USSR and China often align with the north of the country and the U.S. and its allies align with the south. The same can be said for prior economic assistance programs. These have not led to sustained development due to corruption and poor governance.

North and South Vietnam continue to receive large sums of foreign aid. According to the CIA, communist countries have rapidly increased their military and economic assistance reaching over 1 billion dollars in 1967 alone. Meanwhile, the U.S. has deployed over half a million troops to assist the South Vietnamese. With all this military aid flowing into the country, the conflict is getting worse and civilians are in an increasingly dire state.

Since 1956, when Russian Premier Khrushchev proposed the novel “peaceful transition” approach to foreign aid, the Soviet Union has granted foreign aid to numerous countries in the third world, in order to develop their economies and to make a “peaceful transition” to socialism. Meanwhile, the U.S. believes that various foreign assistance programs, such as USAID and Food for Peace, have done tremendous work to alleviate the effects of hunger and malnutrition in impoverished states. According to leading academics, however, these agencies funded large-scale capital projects and neglected policies and programs related to human capital and productivity. This has left sustained development and prosperity a myth in these countries.

The public welcomes resolutions to the issues of foreign aid from various committees. It is hoped that committees can come together to form better strategies to make foreign aid more effective and improve its outcome.