GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 264
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Some people believe that governments should not spend on international aid when they have disadvantaged, homeless and unemployed in their own country.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
The foreign aid budget is at the forefront of national debates and is driving political discourse. Many argue that governments ought not to extend aid to other countries if there are underprivileged, destitute, and homeless people within their own borders. In this case, this essay partly agrees with the stand.
The opponents of granting foreign aid insist that charity always begins at home. For them, it is unacceptable that the governments spend money on alleviating poverty abroad while unemployment, homelessness, and poverty exist in their own territories. Apart from that, a growing number of empirical evidence show that a substantial amount, as much as one-seventh of overseas aid, is captured by the ruling elite in recipient nations, either spent on luxury goods and real estate or diverted into tax heavens. So, I believe that governments should place the welfare of their own citizen ahead of others.
Having said that, giving overseas aid reaps considerable benefits. In the first case, when a nation helps develop emerging markets, and that investment allows it to earn the financial rewards of close trading ties with recipient nations. Aside from reaping commercial advantages, a country increases its soft power by spending on international aid, does not only enhance global security but also helps the country attain its policy goals, such as combating climate change, abroad. According to Joe Cerrell of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for example, this means that aid is “an investment in our shared security and prosperity”. Therefore, granting aid to other countries is not purely selfless.
In the light of the above discussion, it seems reasonable to conclude that governments should find an ideal balance between these conflicting interests. I would end by quoting Francis Bacon “Charity begins at home but should not end there”.