Thursday, February 19, 2009

Aid fade

Between 1970 and 1998, when aid flows to Africa were at their peak, poverty in Africa rose from 11% to a staggering 66%" - roughly 600 million of Africa's billion people are now trapped in poverty. Aid has been, and continues to be, an unmitigated political, economic and humanitarian disaster for most parts of the developing world.
-- Dambisa Moyo in an interview with the ubiquitous Aida Edemariam
Aid donors and recipients alike have good reason for preferring to focus on aid rather than trade or governance. Industrialized countries don’t want to liberalize trade in agricultural products, while making new commitments to aid targets provides popular headlines. African governments like aid because most of it comes to them, and while they are strongly in favour of trade reform they are understandably resistant to governance reform. Therefore we see that NEPAD began with a focus on governance, trade, and debt, with aid at the margins, but was reduced very rapidly to an aid disbursement mechanism.
-- Alex de Waal in a note on The Trouble with Aid by Jonathan Glennie

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