Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The broken promises made at Gleneagles

This article is definitely not in line with what Easterly has been arguing. The reporter argues that aid can help slowdown spread of terrorism, new diseases, and save failed states. Is there a direct link between aid and terrorism? I have not yet seen one.

...From that high point in Gleneagles, today the aid industry stands on the brink of disaster. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, net aid from most of the wealthiest nations actually dropped, year on year, in 2006 and again in 2007. If the new push for foreign aid collapses completely, it could do just as much damage to the West as it does to the countries that need its benefits. Indeed, the crisis in foreign aid could not only prolong the world's human suffering, but could spark one of the biggest security challenges we face in the coming decades.

...Despite the promises of Gleneagles, net aid handouts from the G-7 group of powerful nations fell by 1 percent in 2007, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a monitoring group. The nongovernmental organization Oxfam projects that by 2010, wealthy nations will fall short of their pledges by some $30 billion - more than the United States' entire annual aid.

...In the long run, this stinginess will backfire on everyone involved. It will have a disastrous impact on the citizens of poor nations, both because of reduced aid and less pressure on their governments for real political reforms. And aid has benefits for the rest of the world as well. It can prevent the kinds of failed states that harbor terrorism, crime, and other serious dangers.