Thursday 26 April 2018

Examining the paradoxical effects of poverty relief

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

'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.

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