International Aid for Self Gain?

Sooo at uni we have to do a number of articles with a variety of titles, on of the first ones I think I have already posted, which is on the Palestine-Israel conflict. They're only allowed to be 4-5 hundred words long so I know there isn't a lot of depth in them.  They are meant to spark an interest and get people to research further for themselves. Below is one I did on international aid and I might post the redraft of the other article. If you're interested in any of this and would like to know where you can find more information, drop me a line and I'll help you as much as I can.

Discuss the extent to which developed countries use international aid for their own purposes.

International Aid was developed to aid those countries in need. One of the main goals that has been set for countries is to donate a minimum of 0.7% of GNI per year to stop hunger, but only a handful out of 22 countries that pledged to do so in the UN. 6 of those who have not met their pledge have not even started a schedule to work towards, including the US.
So if these countries are so reluctant to meet this pledge what is the point of International Aid at all?

Firstly, there is a difference between developmental and humanitarian aid. Humanitarian focusses mainly on instant relief from problems caused by natural disasters and conflict; whereas Developmental aid focusses on tackling the long term roots of the problems that cause poverty and hunger by prolonged donations from developed countries.

Secondly, on a very simplified basis International Aid works in a similar manner to the way that banks loan money to people and companies. One party lends to another with an interest rate, allowing for a greater return on the money lent. However, this would only lead the countries into greater debt eventually as they are lending from one country to pay back the other. Is it ethical to continue to ‘aid‘ when in the long term it doesn’t benefit the country you’re helping?

Thirdly, if a country puts a lot of aid into a particular nation then there is the possibility of political influence and personal gain. By aiding developing countries the western world is able to  build up ties with countries that have great oil supplies or tactical positioning on the globe. Additionally, there may also be imperialistic legacies that nations wish to be upheld - if a nation continues to assert influence within these regions then part of the culture that was brought initially may sustain for longer.

One of the great issues with aid remains the countries that gain it. Often developing countries have fledgling democracies - if that - and governments are corrupt, bringing with it the ethical issue that the support is going to a corrupt, often totalitarian rulership with little or no regard for Human Rights - is that justified?

According to many countries and organisations it is - they manage to get a lot of aid to the people in need and the governments that give eventually get a return out of their investment. But it is unclear as to whether the return is greater than the good that the aid will do in the long term, begging for the question: “Does International Aid really aid at all?”