September in New York saw all the pomp and circumstance befitting of a meeting of the world's leaders. More specifically, the Millennium Development Goals were to be discussed and money promised to support them.
It is important to understand that international assistance may not always be needed or welcomed by that country. Currently Chile is allowing only very limited assistance following the February earthquake.
Failure is something that most international aid organizations cannot tolerate. Many units spent a lot of energy and resources hiding failures or massaging them to make them look like reasonable successes.
Military action or aid to governments may be unavoidable in the short run, but unless coupled with commercial opportunities for people on the ground, they're unlikely to be cost-effective and efficacious in the long run.