February 28, 2005

Most International Aid Wasted, Say Agencies

This is something that I feel strongly about. Too often people think that you can just throw money at a problem to make it go away.

"LONDON (Reuters) - Red tape, inefficiency and nepotism mean that only one fifth of international aid actually gets to the people who need it, aid agencies said Monday.

Not only that, but 40 percent of international aid is spent buying overpriced goods and services from the donors' own countries, Action Aid and Oxfam said in a joint report calling for urgent reform of a politically compromised system.

"First and foremost, they need to spend aid where it is needed -- on poverty reduction -- rather than channel it to their own consultancy and infrastructure industries and geopolitical allies," the report said."

Here is another example of an unnecessary problem.

"Donors tend to be more concerned about the success and visibility of their project or program than the success of a country's development plan," it said.

The report complained that donor nations often bypassed local delivery networks thereby undermining them and leaving countries less able to stand on their own feet.

All aid should be untied, technical expertise should be trained locally, goods and services should where possible be procured locally and the focus should be on directly helping the poor and building local skills.

"These are major challenges to the aid system since they imply a redistribution of power between recipients and donors and a far greater openness and accountability than currently exists," the report concluded."

No comments: