Official Development Aid (ODA) is defined as financial flows to developing nations and regions from established ones so as to enhance the promotion of economic development and welfare of their citizens. Contrary to popular opinion, the indicators used to determine the suitability of recipient countries is not even poverty levels and good management. Rather, the decision of governments of donor countries to commit part of their resources of its people to another as foreign aid is significantly influenced by political and strategic considerations. Therefore, nations that plan to receive funding for disaster management from the United States government should expect to comply with some of its democratic principles. The reason for this position is that the country since its independence is reputed for adherence to the concept of liberty and justice. The promotion of such values as guided its engagements in the political arena as exemplified by the Cold War, Vietnam War, and even the American Civil War. Also, developing countries should be prepared to show accountability and transparency in the disbursement of the funds during the crisis since it is critical to maintaining political stability.

Maintaining the Independence of Recipient Nations

Kellett and Sparks (2012) explained that though there is the humanitarian angle to the relief efforts provided during a catastrophic event, disasters are neither driven by politics nor immune from its machinations (p. 10). In spite of what the majority is made to believe, the incentives for intervention by the human actors in the prevention, mitigation, and remediation of natural disasters is the advancement of political interests. For example, there is empirical evidence that the nearly 50 percent of federal grants for disaster in the United States are based on political consideration. It is no doubt that the authority given to the president by the Stafford Act for a disaster declaration is utilized on the review of electoral factors.

Economic Status as a Criterion for Ranking Recipient Nations

According to Cohen & Werker (2008), the potential bailout effect in most developing nations makes imperative for their governments to have a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan for disaster prone areas in their country. They explained that the bailout effect is a situation where “government under-invest in disaster prevention when they that they will be bailed out in the event of a disaster” (p. 795). The enormous economic cost of managing natural disaster means that the support provided by the American government should be given to developing nations that shares its democratic values.


Vorhies (2012) noted that the political reality of aid distribution is one of the reasons pariah states find it difficult to receive support during the occurrence of a natural disaster (p. 17). Resources for emergency management have become policy instruments used to target populations that are important to maintain the political power base of the governments of developing nations.


Cohen, C., & Werker, E. D. (2008). The political economy of natural disasters. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 52(6), p. 795. Retrieved from…

Kellett, J., & Sparks, D. (2012). Disaster risk reduction: Spending where it should count. Global Humanitarian Assistance. Retrieved from…

Vorhies, F. (2012). The economics of investing in disaster risk reduction. Geneva, Switzerland: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. Retrieved from…

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