Did the World Bank and other international donors act responsibly and ethically in constraining their humanitarian assistance?

There are multifaceted ethical issues relating to international investments. One aspect relates to human rights. Most Latin American governments have constitutions that mandate health care as a human right, yet some of these countries provide poor health care for the majority of their population.

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During the 1980s, the general populace of these countries deteriorated, even though several Latin American countries developed strategies to reposition medical personnel and services to rural areas. Throughout this time, many international donors provided assistance; however they did so with imposed conditions. An example of this constrained assistance was the World Bank, which imposed restrictions that included privatization of health care, as well as required limitations on universal access.

 

Did the World Bank and other international donors act responsibly and ethically in constraining their humanitarian assistance? Who has the responsibility for the health care of the Latin American people? Is it a reasonable and socially responsible practice to offer international assistance in exchange for an opportunity to shape a country’s political and/or social system? Why or why not?

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