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Poverty and Humanitarian Aid

Moral Issue: Poverty and the Need for Humanitarian Aid


The rich and developed countries should help the poor ones with their wealth and money so that various humanitarian issues such as poverty can be reduced on a global scale. This concept is being explored by taking the global society in context that as a global society, it is responsibility of the blessed ones to help the deprived ones so that overall society can grow together by reducing poverty and other relevant issues. In this position paper, the focus will be on the humanitarian aid to reduce poverty. So, the paper will discuss various pros and cons associated with the humanitarian aid, which can be or cannot be useful to reduce poverty all around the world. Different peer reviewed articles, books, and web sources will be used to review the topic with relevant information to support my position.

It is important to clarify my position before moving to further parts of the paper. I strongly believe that poverty is harmful for the global society as a whole. The world cannot be a great place to live if there would be so much difference between nations, where one nation may have all the resources, and the other nation maybe deprived many of them. The society built on guidelines of justice is crucial for the world peace and harmony, and it can only be done with the help of humanitarian aid to ensure that people poor nations do get their basic rights to end or reduce poverty. It is important to know for all of us that natural disasters or human calamities can happen anywhere in the world. So, it is essential for us to understand that humanitarian aid is important in this regard. If we will help others by providing humanitarian aid, then nations will stand with use, when we may need any humanitarian or other kind of help. There is a point of view that aid should not be provided to poor countries for various reasons, but my position for the issue is that humanitarian aid is badly needed to reduce poverty and relevant issues in the world to develop a society which has justice, peace and harmony for everyone.

Poverty and Humanitarian Aid


As mentioned above that my paper will use the method of pros and cons discussion to see both sides of the issue that why humanitarian aid is needed and beneficial as per my claim, and why something that humanitarian or any kind of aid to poor nations is not a good thing to do. For this purpose, the pros and cons for both claims are given below:


There can be various pros associated with the humanitarian aid as it can make a viable impact on society. The great thing about humanitarian aid is that it makes world a better place to live for all by reducing poverty and other relevant issues. The global community cannot remain irrelevant if any nation is dealing with any war conflict or natural disasters. Being part of the global society, it is important to help the ones in trouble so that relief can be provided to them. The children can be vulnerable in such situations, and timely humanitarian aid can save the lives of children by helping them to fight with various diseases. The world needs sustainable development in every aspect and humanitarian aid can help to achieve it. Moreover, it is also beneficial as it has been proved effective in various previous cases (raptim.org)

The humanitarian aid can help to reduce poverty by providing enough means of life for the affected ones. The vulnerable communities and nations can get a great deal of support from humanitarian aid as it will allow them to get out of trouble. This aid can be helpful in increasing the speed and efficacy of rehabilitation efforts. When humanitarian aid is provided on emergency basis, it can reduce sufferings of the affected ones and allow them to get back to normal life. Sometimes, the emergency aid can save lots of precious lives. The well being as well as equality of all human beings around the world can be ensured with the help of humanitarian aid, and these benefits clearly suggest that humanitarian aid is indispensable for the poor nations in every part of the world (Keeney)


There is a strong belief by some people that humanitarian as well as foreign aid cannot be the solution for various problems. They believe that humanitarian aid is given by wealthier nations to fit their own agendas and it also promotes some kind of dictatorship as poor countries are dictated by the ones, who provide aid. It actually means that humanitarian aid is not a good thing for poor nations, even if they are in need, as they may get short term benefits, but cons are long term for such aid. For instance, a developed nation may help a poor nation for its own political aims. This is what the case has been for United States for years. It is also believed that when humanitarian aid is provided in war conflict areas, it means that war will never end, because the ones who help have their own political agendas. So, it is actually believed that most of the humanitarian aid is given for own sake rather helping the poor nations to get out of poverty. One example to support the claim is aid given by U.S to Ethiopia; U.S helped Ethiopia just for its own political interests (Swanson)

Ethical Analysis

After looking at both aspects of the moral issue being discussed in this paper, it is critical to describe ethical analysis by relating any ethical theory or principle to support my position. I reaffirm my position again that whatever the situation is, and regardless of any disadvantages associated with humanitarian aid; I still strongly believe that humanitarian aid is indispensable for the poor nations and communities who are in trouble due to war conflicts or natural disasters, because otherwise poverty around the world will increase, and we cannot remain irrelevant to poverty and other humanitarian issues suffered by others.

There can be various theories to link with the issue of poverty and humanitarian aid, but as per my views, the most relevant one is theory of obligation. An ethical society needs to have equality and justice, and world society cannot achieve this if people around the world will be suffering from humanitarian issue like poverty. The theory of obligation is based on the morality, which asks to do an action which is in line with the ethics of humanitarianism. These actions will be morally and ethically justified, because it has been based on moral obligation. So, it is the moral obligation of blessed countries that they help the poor ones with humanitarian aid. It is obligation of the developed nations to get poor and developing nations out of poverty and other relevant issues (VAN ARSDALE and NOCKERTS)

I came to conclusion after analyzing the issue on ethical basis that it is obligation of everyone to help each other. It is moral obligation if someone is blessed with money and wealth, then poor ones should be supported to get out of poverty. There are so many countries around the world, which are rich and have excessive resources, so it is their moral responsibility to help those countries, which lack resources for various reasons or dealing with natural or war disasters and cannot fight with poverty. It is important that everyone takes it part in making this world an equal place for all, where everyone has means of living their life.

Identifying Critical Thinking Question

I have tried my best to discuss all relevant issues associated with the moral issue of poverty and humanitarian aid. The poverty cannot be reduced around the world, if wealthy and developed nations would not come forward and take the responsibility. It is against the moral and ethical values if you leave someone to die in the poor situation of poverty and relevant issues. Like during wars or natural disasters, poor people suffer more, and children can face various epidemic diseases. So, it is not ethical for blessed and rich nations to see children dying due to diseases, poverty and starving. I have some questions in mind after analyzing the whole issue. The first question that I would like to ask from countries who are engaged in war conflicts thus affecting lives of poor people that why they need wars? Why can’t they settle their disputes so that everyone can live peacefully? Moreover, I like to ask rich nations that how they will live peacefully in a global society, if people in other parts are in trouble due to poverty, war or natural disasters. In one way or the other, all human beings are connected to each other. Therefore it is crucial that we help each other in time of need. If we will ask questions to ourselves and if developed nations will respond morally to such issues, then we can develop a global society, which has assurance of basic rights for all, getting them out of poverty.


I can conclude that every human being should take this issue seriously. I know that providing humanitarian is not the capacity of individuals, but when every individual will think about it, and then a collective thought will evolve in a society, which will drive nations to thin morally and ethically. It will allow people and nations to understand their moral obligations for fellow nations and human beings. If we know the importance of this issue, and can look to find answers, then poverty can be reduced in future with the help of humanitarian aid. It is true that few nations can work for their own political or other interests in shape of humanitarian aid, but I believe that pros of humanitarian aid are far more significant than its cons. People in need during war conflicts and natural disasters cannot be ignored in any given case. So, every student, citizen, policy maker should understand that we need to play or role in reducing poverty by speeding up the process of humanitarian aid.

  • Keeney, Courtney J. “The Effects of Humanitarian Aid on the Advancement of Livelihood under Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Intenational ResearchScape Journal 5.1 (2018): 1-22.
  • org. Five Reasons Why Humanitarian Aid is Creating a Better World. 2017. 15 August 2018 <https://www.raptim.org/five-reasons-why-humanitarian-aid-is-creating-a-better-world/>.
  • Swanson, Ana. Why trying to help poor countries might actually hurt them. 2015. 15 August 2018 <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/10/13/why-trying-to-help-poor-countries-might-actually-hurt-them/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e4054c1c9cd4>.
  • VAN ARSDALE, PETER W. and REGINA A. NOCKERTS. “A Theory of Obligation.” The Journal of Humanitarian Assistance (2018).

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