Third World countries really have the odds stacked against them. They can't trade properly and fairly with richer nations. They don't have a real voice in the global community. Their regimes can be easily ousted out of power by the conspiracies of a stronger nation. But we have to stop and think about what the root of their problems is. Is it because of their climate/geographic factors? Endowment of natural resources? Is it because of frequent wars fought with belligerent neighbours? I believe that almost all their problems can be traced back to a lack of education. The problem the Third World countries are facing is not poverty itself, rather it lies in why the countries are so poor despite many attempts at modernization.
"What can be done then, to save those nations?" you may ask. I wish I have the answer to that, but I don't. I'm actually a critic of the ineffective methods currently used in aiding the Third World. What the international aid organizations are doing now is ineffective. Their aid might actually be hindering the proper development of those nations.
I think one the main culprits of their prolonged poverty is food aid. Sustenance is a necessity to the growth of their societies, but that doesn't mean that it is the solution to their problems. Our food, (which we have too much of) while helping millions of starving people survive, is producing nations that are fully dependent on external support to feed their hungry. Moreover, our aid is partially responsible for their unrealistically large populations. They produce enough food to adequately feed about 10 to 20% of their population. Is our food really helping them on their way to prosperity?
Other forms of aid are also ineffective. Money that is given to a nation with a corrupt and illegitimate government quickly results in an elite group which oppresses the populace. More money obviously increases their stranglehold. This raises another important question: Should we offer money, and if we should, how do we know it's being put to work for the good of the masses?
Our technology could be the best gift, but we are loathe to give our knowledge. Bio-tech companies can offer resistant and prolific crops for free. With a few exceptions -- for promoting their public image and such -- they don't. Other forms of technology would probably not be used correctly or widely enough for a pronounced effect since the people are not educated. Thus, we don't give much of our technology away. There is one notable exception though. We give away our weapons quite lightly, without much thought. It's like a parent offering their baby the full use of the kitchen. Sure, the baby can peel that apple, right? It seems to be that the profit of our corporations is of greater importance than their welfare.
We must realize that offering aid DOES NOT always mean we are being of help. What's important is to analyze the implications of our aid. I believe education is the only long-term solution to their predicament. The problem is, who is going to teach them?