Probe International works to hold both Canadian and international aid agencies accountable for the environmental, social, and economic harm they cause in developing countries. While Probe believes that public support for foreign aid begins with honorable intentions, its inevitable effect is destructive. More than five decades of state-to-state aid has given governments in the developing world financial immunity from their own citizens, thereby undermining political accountability and institutions in those countries.
By bankrolling unaccountable governments against their own people, agencies such as the Canadian International Development Agency and the World Bank have caused financial ruin, social harm, and environmental havoc. Despite “pro-poor” and “pro-environment” rhetoric, such agencies have financed hydro projects, hazardous mining operations, as well as road-building and forestry schemes that have led to widespread environmental damage and impoverished communities. Through it all, these institutions have shown a blatant disregard for the democratic rights of the citizenry and property rights of the people most affected by the projects they finance.
In the pages that follow, we lay out the evidence of 60 years of failed aid.