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Vol 49 No 23

Published 14th November 2008


The aid debate: good, bad or misplaced

Some say that all aid is good aid. British Premier Gordon Brown, as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2005 said: 'Let us double aid to halve poverty.' Irish campaigner Bob Geldof in 2005 (attributed): 'Something must be done; anything must be done, whether it works or not.' Others say that all aid is bad aid. Graham Hancock in 'The Lords of Poverty' (1989): 'Aid is not bad because it is sometimes misused, corrupt or crass; rather it is inherently bad, bad to the bone, and utterly beyond reform. As a welfare dole or as a hidden, inefficient and inadequately regulated subsidy for Western business, it is possibly the most formidable obstacle to the productive endeavours of the poor.'

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