There Is No Point In Giving Aid

SummaryAcknowledgementIntroductionWhy Should We Help?The BenefitsThe Venture ItselfHow to Avoid the Marie Antoinette SyndromeThe Action PlanConclusionSelected Bibliography


Over the years, Canada has funded foreign aid, now called Official Development Assistance (ODA), to Africa (and other developing countries around the world). Where has this money gone and what has it done? The situation does indeed seem to be distressingly bleak.

Africa needs about $30 billion per year in aid in order to escape from poverty. But if we actually gave that aid, where would it go? Right down the drain if the past is any guide. Sad to say, Africa’s education levels are so low that even programs that work elsewhere would fail in Africa. Africa is corrupt and riddled with authoritarianism. It lacks modern values and the institutions of a free market economy needed to achieve success. In fact, Africa’s morals are so broken down that it is no surprise AIDS has run out of control. And here is the bleakest truth: suppose that our aid saved Africa’s children. What then? There would be a population explosion, and a lot more hungry adults. We would have solved nothing.

If your head was just nodding yes, please read [on] with special care. The paragraph above repeats conventional rich-world wisdom about Africa, and to a lesser extent, other poor regions. While common, these assertions are incorrect. Yet they have been repeated publicly for so long, or whispered in private, that they have become accepted as truth by the broad public . . . . (Sachs, 2005, p. 309)

Why has ODA not produced better results? Where has ODA money gone, not just Canada’s but other rich countries’ moneys as well? Is Africa such a disaster that ODA is always utterly wasted and futile?

Not so, says Jeffery Sachs, an international economic consultant to the UN and many countries around the world. He is the author of the remarkable book, The End of Poverty, in which he analyzes root causes of poverty and how to alleviate it.


Read More: It’s Their Own Fault If They Are PoorJared Diamond and Western (Cargo)Ineffective AidMuhammad Yunus and MicrocreditUnscrupulous PeopleThe SystemGrameen BankIt Doesn’t Affect Us, So Why Should We Care?The Poor Will Always Be With UsThere Is No Point In Giving AidWhere Does All The Money Go?Africa’s Onerous ChallengesAfrica’s Extreme PovertyCorruption and Poor GovernanceLack of Modern Values and Free Market EconomiesA Population Explosion?Why Not Leave It to the United Nations and the World’s Governments?The UNThe Governments of the WorldGrassroots Movements