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.
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.