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"By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been."

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation explains 3 Myths that Block Progress for the Poor in their 2014 annual letter. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jan 21, 2014 - 101 comments

 

we don't want your shoes.

Thinking of donating clothes to Africa? Buying shoes so that someone else can have a pair (or just go a day without shoes)? How about buying charity products or visiting impoverished nations to volunteer? Please reconsider. Your good intentions are likely just paving the path to Hell (or economic danger) with Stuff We Don't Want.
posted by divabat on Mar 7, 2012 - 86 comments

Interactive map of US foreign aid

Interactive map of US foreign aid by the Center for American Progress: "explore where U.S. foreign aid dollars are spent and how these countries rank in terms of basic indicators such as political rights and civil liberties, corruption, and overall development." [more inside]
posted by moody cow on May 16, 2011 - 20 comments

The ethics of giving

How to write about Africa. Binyavanga Wainaina is among a rising generation of African voices who bring a cautionary perspective to the morality and efficacy behind many Western initiatives to abolish poverty and speed development in Africa. An interview with Krista Tippet.
posted by nax on Dec 8, 2008 - 12 comments

systematically eliminated or weakened rules designed to enforce the separation of church and state

the American God? The herders of this remote mountain village know little about America, but have learned from those who run a US-funded aid program about the American God. A Christian God. ...
posted by amberglow on Oct 11, 2006 - 32 comments

The Trouble with Foreign Aid

Foreign Aid: Can it work? The conundrum facing the rich countries is that everywhere in the developing world, and particularly in Africa, you see children dying for want of pennies, while it's equally obvious that aid often doesn't work very well....But the pitfalls of aid tend not to be discussed among humanitarians, at least in loud voices, for fear of scaring donors. And now along comes William Easterly, in his tremendously important and provocative new book, The White Man's Burden, which asserts with great force that the aid industry is deeply flawed.
posted by storybored on Sep 23, 2006 - 63 comments

How Much is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations

How Much is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations. A paper from a doctoral student at the Harvard Business School, and an employee of the National Bureau of Economic Research has found a correlation between serving on the United Nations Security Council, and the amount of aid received from the United States and the UN. The paper will be printed in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Political Economy. From the abstract: "Ten of the fifteen seats on the U.N. Security Council are held by rotating members serving two-year terms. We find that a country’s U.S. aid increases by 59 percent and its U.N. aid by 8 percent when it rotates onto the council. This effect increases during years in which key diplomatic events take place (when members’ votes should be especially valuable) and the timing of the effect closely tracks a country’s election to, and exit from, the council. Finally, the U.N. results appear to be driven by UNICEF, an organization over which the United States has historically exerted great control." The Harvard Business School working paper can be found here. Commentary from Steven Levitt (the co-author of Freakonomics) can be found here.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Aug 29, 2006 - 17 comments

Paying the Price

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?
posted by three blind mice on Dec 6, 2004 - 30 comments

Democracy at work?

Washington cuts Serbia Aid, due to Serbian intransigence in cooperating with the Hague war crimes tribunal to extradite key war crimes suspects. Recently, the Serbian Parliament passed a controversial bill which gives taxpayers money to war crimes suspects for "legal and other expenses". In December Serbia elected a new parliament with nationalist sympathies. Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has said extraditing war crimes suspects to The Hague is not one of his government's priorities. Is this the kind of democracy the US wanted?
posted by knapah on Mar 31, 2004 - 4 comments

$320 Million

$320 Million worth of aid is going to the people of Afghanistan, and their neighbors. Is this too much? Couldn't this much money dramatically improve the lives of some 3000 or more struggling families here? Is this the proper message to send to terrorist nations?
posted by eas98 on Oct 4, 2001 - 23 comments

How to get $43 millions dollars from the United States
  1. Strip all your female citizens of their human rights
  2. Single out religious minorities (for their "protection")
  3. Agree to crack down on opium farming without any real monitoring
The War on Drugs finds a new ally in The Taliban.
posted by alan on May 29, 2001 - 18 comments

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