Does aid work?

A question that causes much debate amongst scholars, government leaders and activists alike. In my opinion, aid effectiveness results from good collaboration from the aid giver and the aid receievers. Unfortunately only a very small % (Around 8-9%) of aid is given through non-government organisations, the remainder through private institutions. The Make Poverty History Road Trip is calling for more of Australia’s aid budget to be given through NGO’s working on the field, so we don’t end up with more disheartening stories like this: “Rich Execs get cut of our foreign aid” which appeared in Sydney’s ‘The Daily Telegraph’ yesterday. The sad reality is that we live in a world rife with corruption, and issues like this can sometimes seem unpreventable – yet nothing will change if we don’t do anything about it! By signing the Act to End Poverty (found on the Campaigns page), you’ll also be asking the government for less money to be going through private institutions (and rich execs) and more through the NGO’s who work with the receiving communities on the field!

The inspiration for this blog however, did not come from yesterday’s article, yet rather a video Oxfam released two days ago about the effectiveness of aid – it shows how aid can contribute positively to a community, reducing disease and increasing sanitisation as an example. Aid’s effectiveness should definitely not be undermined, and I think this cute video will show you just how important it is that we keep our foreign aid commitments!

For those of you that are really keen to learn about the effectiveness and failures of aid (and also a future to look forward to!), take a look at Oxfam’s academic paper: 21st Century Aid, that was released last week. There is also a summary at that link for those of you that prefer quick facts and figures!

I believe there is SO much more work to be done in achieving the Millennium Development Goals – we just need to be careful about the way we go about achieving them!

Further note; today Hugh Evans, CEO of the Global Poverty Project (more in NGOS) posted a response to the article which appeared in the Daily Telegraph. He’s such an inspiration and encouragement!

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