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Hiding true motives of aid (the case of vaccines)



Militarisation of aid is huge problem in education and health. When military forces are involved, there's a risk that aid efforts could be seen as biased or serving political or strategic interests.


Take, for example, the polio vaccine case in Pakistan. The CIA held a fake vaccination program in a town in Pakistan where it believed Osama bin Laden was hiding. The purpose was to get the DNA. The doctor who was hired for this purpose was also Pakistani. The deception then comes in when you show you are administering vaccines for the betterment of life and everyone will have a positive image of you, however, your true motives are hidden.


When aid is not neutral, it becomes compromised. Humanitarian aid is guided by principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence. When military forces get involved, these principles might be compromised, impacting the effectiveness and legitimacy of the aid operation.


Maintaining the distinction between military and humanitarian activities is crucial for preserving the integrity and efficacy of aid efforts.




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I agree with what you’re saying! If humanitarian aid is militarized it creates an air of mistrust within the people far beyond the scope of a singular operation. Polio workers are still eyed with disdain and mistrust, partially due to the militarized nature of some of these processions, and partially due to the fact that they are seen as promoters of a westernized ‘agenda’. I do wonder however, what would be a model for providing aid in conflict based areas that protects the workers whilst also appeasing the people it seeks to aid?

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En réponse à

Thank you for bringing this question, from class discussion I think the government needs to step up and be transparent to the people about where the aid has been going, they should employ inclusion, collaboration and effective management. Donors also need to take accountability.

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This is so true! We've seen thus how preserving the separation between military and humanitarian activities is essential for maintaining the integrity and efficacy of aid efforts, and clear distinction ensures that humanitarian aid is driven solely by the goal of alleviating human suffering and promoting well-being-without being entangled in geopolitical interests or strategic agendas. Maintaining this distinction safeguards the trust of affected populations and allows aid organizations to subsequently their mission with transparency and authenticity.

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En réponse à

Yes, transparency and authenticity are very important in this regard. There is also a need for accountability and management of aid.

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Yes! Humanitarian aid should be kept separate from military activities. However, do you think this really is possible? I'm thinking of places like Afghanistan, even in Pakistan where Polio workers are attacked or seen as a threat because of the humanitarian aid that is behind them. Or, would you say that this is because of the CIA's previous involvement with aid that our communities now have doubts about such medical aid-driven practices?

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En réponse à

I think this has a lot to do with whether aid donors are taking accountability for the aid that they have sent and their intentions behind it. Sending aid for political motives or experimentation purposes is wrong. You end up taking a good thing that is giving aid and you use that to do even more harm to the already impacted community. I definitely do think that humanitarian aid can be kept away from military activities if your intentions are good and your aim to to provide help. In regards to your last question, it can be both, however I think this case of Polio vaccines definitely raises question about aid practices and would ultimately lead to doubts about it.…

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Absolutely right! The meeting point of military and helpful efforts can blur the lines of expectation and compromise the very rules that guide help activities. The case in Pakistan regarding the fake immunization program clearly illustrates how control for ulterior thought processes can compromise the uprightness of help work. Maintaining the standards of nonpartisanship, fairness, and freedom in philanthropic guidance is central to guaranteeing that help is conveyed without bias or secret plans. Keeping up with this differentiation between military and philanthropic exercises is fundamental for protecting authenticity.

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En réponse à

Yes you are right, it is powered by ulterior motives like you mentioned and yes both forms should be differentiated. It comes down to ethics and fairness as well.

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A very important point to consider when talking about aid. Often times, the fact that a conflict ridden zone is receiving aid is enough for outsiders to claim that things are improving. However, one forgets to mention the fact that whether this aid is militarised or not and what could its impacts be. It was discussed in class that Pakistan received the highest amount of aid when it came to education till 2015. However, the impact that such inflated amount of aid could make is missing. There has been little to no work done for education. One can then argue that was this aid given genuinely out of goodwill or just because Pakistan at the time served greater strategic and…

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En réponse à

Thank you for this, I think aid donors should take accountability for the aid they send and receivers should be transparent and they need to avoid mismanagement of aid.

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