Paying the Price
December 6, 2004 1:35 AM Subscribe
The British aid agency OXFAM has released new figures on foreign aid. In 2003, the average aid budget of wealthy countries was just 0.25% of national income. According to the OECD this is actually a modest increase. Only 5 countries: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden meet or exceed the 0.7% target agreed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Among wealthy nations, the US is meanest in terms of percentage. At 0.14%, or £8 billion a year, the US foreign aid budget is less than one tenth of what was spent on the invasion of Iraq. The aid budgets of rich nations are half what they were in 1960, Oxfam said, while poor countries are having to pay $100 million a day in debt repayments. Does foreign aid help? Or is it just throwing good money after bad?
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