Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Foreign Aid - Just Another Failure

The opposition parties want Canada to contribute more to foreign aid. In the recent debate NDP demanded no less than 0.7% of the GDP or ~$11 billion a year. And, while the government isn't ready to go that far, it won't back down on the commitment to "double international assistance to $5 billion by 2010–11", made by the Liberals in 2005. But will all that extra money actually help the poor countries to become self-sufficient?
Many well-meaning liberals think rich countries could quickly and easily eradicate world poverty by agreeing to a major increase in transfers of their wealth to poor countries through higher foreign aid and more debt relief. But if that is true, how can one account for a deeply impoverished, oil-exporting country like Nigeria that has garnered more than $350 billion in oil revenue over the past 40 years -- a sum vastly greater than any conceivable amount of foreign aid and debt relief -- yet still languishes within the bottom billion?
Their answer - just keep throwing in more money and eventually, they hope, they'll achieve different results by doing the same thing...

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