Charles Landow reviews writings on the foreign aid debate, global economic growth, democracy in Asia, and state capitalism in this week’s Missing Pieces. Enjoy!
- Assessing Aid Efforts: Is foreign aid a success or a waste? The debate is long-running. A recent report from Oxfam and Save the Children evaluates international assistance to combat last year’s Horn of Africa famine. It faults donors and relief providers (including those NGOs themselves) for delays in mounting a full response, despite warnings of failing rains starting in 2010. It is a positive example of humanitarian actors holding themselves and others accountable and suggesting ways to improve. Meanwhile, Bill Gates offers a full-throated defense of foreign aid in an International Herald Tribune op-ed this week and his recent Gates Foundation annual letter. He notes that child mortality and extreme poverty in the world have fallen by more than half in the last fifty years, gains he credits “in large part to aid-funded programs to buy vaccines and boost farmers’ productivity.” As he concludes in his letter, “The relatively small amount of money invested in development has changed the future prospects of billions of people—and it can do the same for billions more if we make the choice to continue investing in innovation.” For more on the foreign assistance debate, see video interviews by Isobel Coleman with Don Steinberg, deputy administrator of USAID, and Daniel Yohannes, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Read more »