During the White House Summit on International Development, which focuses on increasing good governance, fighting disease, and enhancing economic growth in developing countries, President George W. Bush said prosperous nations must help less fortunate countries now more than ever.
Yesterday, Bush said:
During times of economic crisis, some may be tempted to turn inward — focusing on our problems here at home while ignoring our interests around the world. This would be a serious mistake. America is committed and must stay committed to international development for reasons that remain true regardless of the ebb and flow of the markets.
Bush took the time to take a trip-down his administration's memory lane, touting its aid accomplishments. In part thanks to the Millennium Challenge Account — which helps nations that embrace democracy and free markets build schools, treat those with AIDS, and feed their people — the US has given more foreign aid in the last eight years than during any other president's tenure of the last 50 years.
Do relatively rich countries have a duty to continue their commitments to the poor in other nations during tough times? Perhaps contributing to stability in friendly developing nations means that there's some self-interest in caring for the world's poor.