Rumble: Does Africa Really Need More Aid?

In a previous post, I contemplated on the role and usefulness of humanitarian aid, just at the moment the G8 countries pledged $60 billion more to Africa...

The rich world has spent $2.3 trillion over 50 years on aid to the worlds' poorest countries, yet poverty grinds on relentlessly. Bono still thinks aid can be effective as long as it's "backed up by the right concepts and strictly monitored", according to
this alertnet article.

And then there are the world's billionaires, all 946 of them. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates tops the list, as through his Gates Foundation, he contributed $1.5 billion budget for health projects in the developing world. This equals the entire annual budget of the
U.N. World Health Organisation. No wonder developmental economist Jeffrey Sachs thinks billionaires alone could "save the continent" by donating only a 5 percent of their income per year.

"Not so", says Michela Wrong in Britain's
News Statesman: "Aid has been hugely oversold, both by those who think it works miracles and by those who blame it for Africa's woes. It has probably added just one percentage point to the annual growth rates of the poorest countries in the past 30 years".

Pfft.. We are still no-where.. Where is the real meat in all of this? Where can we really see if aid helps, without the retoric debates in posh retreats with wine and rich food on the table? Maybe
this article can help, reporting on a project in Western Kenya that aims to produce conclusive proof that development aid actually works, demonstrating that when the donating countries honor their pledges, poverty disappears.

Who else has example project like this? Who of you out there has more of examples where aid made a practical longterm impact, and was not a band-aid on a wooden leg?

News items picked up from
The Other World News.
Picture courtesy


Anonymous,  13 June, 2007 02:52  

The g8 humanitarian aid that goes to the poor African nations, no matter how big the sum is, will never suffice if spent on the less important things. What is it that we're really trying to cure in Africa? We should determine the answer to that question first before actually funnelling
millions of dollars. A good intention with no sense of direction is a futile attempt of aiding the poverty-ridden Africa.

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