One has to understand the difference between development aid and development cooperation very well before discussing how the people in the south can be helped in a sustainable way. First let us explain the four pillars of development aid/cooperation. The first one is bilateral which means between two countries, for example Belgium and Congo. The second is multilateral and it involves the multinationals, for example EU and AU. The third pillar consists of the NGO’s, non-governmental organizations, and the fourth pillar includes all the rest.
Have a look at the following video of the Bill Gates & Melinda foundation:
Paying for vaccines for people who cannot afford them is one of the things that the foundation does. This foundation has gathered a huge amount of money for a certain goal. If people in for example Somalia are in need of a certain medicine, then this foundation buys vaccines and gives them to the people in need. THIS is DEVELOPMENT AID! There is a specific problem/need, it is solved by buying food, vaccines, water, etc. and afterwards giving it to the people.
Development aid is humanitarian help and indeed it saves a lot of lives, but it doesn’t contribute in the long term well-being of the people! You can give a poor child one dollar so he can eat that day, but the next day he will be hungry again because he still has not money to feed himself.
Sustainable development cooperation is a dynamic process of mutual learning and adjusting. It is about patiently building relations of trust and creating a mutual sense of responsibility. Development aid is about donor-logics and development cooperation is about actor-logics!
With our project, we wish to support the people and create their future together with them. It is very important that the people are involved in the process. Jobs have to be created for those people, the local economy has to be stimulated, education needs to be implemented and people need to have the chance to learn how to earn their own money!