Category: Foreign Aid

The joy of doing business In Africa: How corrupt Senegalese politicians tried to shake down Millicom for $200 million

(February 5, 2010) Corruption in Senegal is more than a risk to private investors like Millicom, it’s a risk to taxpayers, too. More than half a billion dollars in U.S. development assistance is going to Senegal over the next five years on the assumption of good governance.

Afghanistan and dead aid: is it becoming a reality?

(February 2, 2010) In a recent piece for Foreign Policy, Gerard Russell, a former British and U.N. diplomat and now a Fellow of Harvard’s Carr Centre for Human Rights Policy, looks at the disturbing effect foreign aid is having on Afghanistan. With over half of the country’s licit economy supplied by foreigners, Russell says—referencing Dambisa Moyo’s book "Dead Aid all too often "foreign aid undermines society, encourages rentier behaviour, siphons off talent, reduces pressure for reform, and undermines democracy. Does this sound familiar, Afghanistan-watchers?

Haiti heads for debt crisis as emergency loans pile up earthquake

(January 31, 2010) Anti-poverty campaigners warn emergency funds loaded to Haiti, at the height of crisis, will become a heavy debt burden for the quake devastated country. Already caught in a cycle of repayment for loans racked up by dictators from the western governments that kept the country’s looters in power, Haiti can’t afford its future in the present form of help.

Another foreign aid critic says there is a better way

(January 29, 2010) Brian Griffiths, an international adviser for Goldman Sachs, is another voice in what is quickly becoming a chorus of foreign aid critics that are heralding the use of private markets and funds as way to promote economic growth on the African continent. In a recent lecture at Oxford University, Griffiths said churches already working in Africa should help promote businesses and markets in countries across the continent.

The betrayal of Haiti

(January 22, 2010) Beyond the recent earthquake, there is another crisis at the heart of Haiti. Author Gerald Caplan calls the island state the perfect Carribbean example of a historic collusion between despots and Western donors, overseen by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, to “enrich themselves at the expense of the people.”

To help Haiti, end foreign aid

(January 19, 2010) For Haiti, just about every conceivable aid scheme beyond immediate humanitarian relief will lead to more poverty, more corruption and less institutional capacity, says Bret Stephens, writing in the Wall Street Journal. After the immediate impact of the earthquake has passed, and the immediate relief efforts subside, “the arrival of the soldiers of do-goodness, each with his brilliant plan to save Haitians from themselves” will take root.

What was going on in Haiti prior to the earthquake?

(January 17, 2010) Between 45,000-50,000 may have died in the impoverished country of Haiti according to the American Red Cross as a result of the earthquake that shook Port-Au-Prince and surrounding areas on January 12, 2010. A hospital collapses, the President’s palace is left in ruins, and many homes in shambles. Haitians bloodied from the devistation have walked away with tears in their eyes while others lay on the ground struggling to live or dead. This is what we see on the surface, but what is really going on behind the scenes of this catastrophe? What events were ongoing in Haiti prior to the earthquake?

World Bank, go away, says India

(January 7, 2010) India’s Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has decided not to accept aid from the World Bank for its tiger conservation programme. Why do we need the help of the Bank, which has ripped apart our natural resources by supporting projects for dams and mining at the cost of conservation,” asked P. K. Sen, conservationist and former director of Project Tiger.

Kenyan author demands forensic audits of country’s debts, speaks out about country’s odious debts

(January 6, 2010) Kenyan taxpayers should not have to repay the odious debts incurred by post-independence governments that borrowed money in their name but used the funds to terrorize citizens or were involved with corruption-tainted deals such as Anglo Leasing, writes prominent author Okiya Omtatah Okoiti in a recent op-ed. Using limited funds collected through taxation to repay odious debts incurred by the colonial, Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki administrations, he writes, must come to an end.

Cancellation of odious debts an issue in upcoming Philippine presidential race

(January 5, 2010) Research organization Ibon Foundation is urging candidates in the upcoming presidential election to make public their stand on the repeal of automatic debt servicing; cancellation of odious debt; increased allocation and spending for health, education, and housing; and reversing trade liberalization, improving collection efficiency, and addressing bureaucratic corruption and wastage to raise badly needed revenues instead of imposing new taxes such as the tax on text messaging.