Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere Assess the View That Debt Has Become the Main Obstacle to the Development of the Less Developed Countries. (33 Marks) Essay

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Before we are able to evaluate the issue of debt, we first need to understand what development may mean. According to Rostow, development should be seen as an evolutionary process in which countries process up five stages of the ‘development ladder’, according to modernization theory, official aid is a crucial component required for stage 3 of Rostow’s development ladder ‘Take-off’ into industrialization. Aid refers to any flow of resources from developed countries to the developing world, which may be in the form of a financial grant or a material gift that does not have to be paid back, it can also be in the form of a loan with interest. Aid mainly involves the transfer of money but it may also be made up of expertise, medicines and weapons. In 2005, the total quantity of aid provided by rich countries to the developing world topped $100 billion. As a result of this view of official aid being a crucial component being shared by policymakers after World War II and the World Bank, aid was spent by the countries receiving it on importing Western technicians and experts to develop industry and modernize agriculture. Aid also aimed on changing cultural attitudes by setting up meritocratic education systems which were focused on literacy, and family planning which was aiming to free women from the powerlessness and dependency caused by the patriarchal family system. These early aid strategies acknowledged that elites in the developing world would be the main benefiters of the aid, however, it was argues that the poor would benefit in the long run as wealth ‘trickled down’ from the better off markets. This approach did develop some success with infant mortality and life expectancy improving slowly in the 1950’s after large quantities of aid was distributed and many African nations therefore experiencing economic growth. Despite the phenomenal amount of aid coming in,

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