Saturday 10 December 2016

Examining the paradoxical effects of poverty relief

Does foreign aid ultimately do more harm than good? Carol Hunt looks at the evidence

Published 02/05/2010 | 05:00

'We achieved nothing. Absolutely nothing." That's the depressing verdict of a friend -- let's call her Mary -- who spent years in sub-Saharan Africa with her husband and daughter, working for an Irish humanitarian aid agency.

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We're discussing her experience in light of recent revelations concerning the multibillion-dollar industry that goes under the title of 'humanitarian aid'.

Last Sunday saw two broadsheet newspapers discuss the claims -- set out in a new book by Linda Polman -- that in many cases foreign aid prolongs wars, supports the aggressor and the corrupt and, ultimately, is detrimental to the supposed beneficiary.

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