Category: Foreign Aid

DEVELOPMENT-ASIA: AsDB Chants New Mantra at Annual Meet

(May 5, 2000) The new mantra of ‘poverty reduction’ will dominate discussions at the Asian Development Bank’s (AsDB) annual meeting, which starts Saturday in this northern Thai city amid tight security and protests from NGOs.


Activists demand halt to all loans

(May 5, 2000) A major protest against the Asian Development Bank is looming as non-governmental organisations have demanded it stop all loans to the government and give a clear reply by Sunday.

Water levy is the last straw

(May 4, 2000) For the past 40 years, countless farm families in Thailand have lost their lands, livelihoods and health through various mega-projects funded by multilateral development banks, including the ADB. But the ADB’s latest scheme to impose water charges on poor farmers is the last straw.

Foreign aid corruption case puts Canada on trial

(August 20, 1999) ‘Corruption has to be tackled head on,’ declared Diane Marleau, Canada’s minister for foreign aid this spring, two months after Canada adopted the OECD’s anti-corruption convention by making bribery of foreign public officials a criminal offence. But on the eve of the world’s first foreign aid-related corruption court case — one involving Canadian engineering giant Acres International — the government agencies concerned mostly appear to be abdicating responsibility.

It pays to think big: history favors dictators who take billions, not millions

(May 24, 1999) President Suharto opened his 1989 autobiography with memories of his simple childhood bathing in muddy canals in Java. “My roots are in the village,” he wrote. From the start of his dictatorship in 1966, Suharto carefully cultivated an image not just of humble origins but of lifelong simplicity. He claimed to be a common farm boy with common values, who rose without ambition to a position of dominance over one of the largest countries in the world, and who ruled in the best interests of the nation.

A troubling deposit at World Bank

(November 25, 1995) For 5O years government guarantees have allowed the World Bank and its sister development banks to amass the world’s riskiest loan portfolios. Three months ago, the weakest of these sisters, the African Development Bank, was downgraded. And now for the first time, the World Bank admits that many of its own loans can’t be paid back.

Misspent billions: Third World aid?

(May 10, 1995) If the tiny country of Laos had the same population density as the city of Manhattan, we would all be there–the globe’s entire 5.7 billion population, in fact, would have more space per person than do Manhattan residents, who pride themselves on living in one of the world’s most sophisticated cities. The space outside Laos–virtually the entire globe–would then be available for farming, mining, and whatever else our Laotian populace required.