Official Development Assistance and Terrorism*

By Assoc. Prof. Bayram GÜNGÖR | 24 September 2010



More than 1,2 billion people try to survive their life below $1, while nearly 2.8 billion population live on less than $ 2 at purchasing power parity. These people are poor and plagued by inadequate health, nutrition and education. They are also living on environmentally degraded urban areas and using makeshift houses in poor conditions. Those poor people living in less developed countries have also extremely limited choices. Therefore, they may tend to participate in any illegal activity including terrorist acts. Especially, it has seen that this tendency to participating in terrorist acts is growing and growing after the early years of new millennium. In fact even if there is no direct causality between poverty and the participation to the terrorist acts in the academic studies, indirect effects are evident. Starting from these implications, especially after September 9/11 attacks, the security notion was redefined by the USA taking the existence of indirect effects of poverty on terrorism into account. Essentially, even if the new security policy is not new in theoretical level, the content of it is regarded as new, which is called as preventive intervention.  The policy will be made in order to terminate the anticipated source of the terrorist acts. Mechanism used here does not only consist of military methods, but also economic development assistance. The assistance will be given to the countries known as the center of the terrorist acts and subjected to minimizing terrorism in their own territories. The aim of this strategy is to prevent the participation in the terrorist organizations. This policy is based on the sense of individual security. The better the living conditions for people, the less participation the terrorist activities will involve and thus the lower the logistic supplied to terrorist activities there will be. For this reason, security is no longer defined under the protection of national borders. Instead, dignity becomes a main instrument of the frame of security policy.

Therefore, the assumption of providing development assistance to poor countries would reduce terrorist actions. Especially after September 9/11, a new type of development assistance has been implemented. However, this current form of development assistance has not met the expected contributions. Therefore, it is clear that some new complementary mechanisms such as the applications of global governance and good governance should be introduced to solve the efficiency problem of current official development assistance.

  • Official Development Assistance

Development assistance is a tool that is supplied by developed countries or international organizations to less developed countries with respect to economic, social and political affairs. The main reason of this support is to provide a development strategy in the determined fields in the long-run.  This type of assistance makes the recipient countries more efficient especially in stimulating foreign trade and local resource using (Clark, 1992, p.190). Development assistance is different from humanitarian assistance. It may have bilateral and multilateral levels. While a country’s bilateral development assistance is given directly by another country, multilateral development assistance is provided to countries indirectly in the framework of an international organization.


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* Published in the Third Issue of Political Reflection Magazine (PR).


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