“Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.”— Douglas Casey – classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University
But foreign Aid comes with a feel-good factor. We can be satisfied that we are – our countries are – contributing to the economic well-being of starving people in the Third World. Even if only a small percentage of our money goes to that aid, at least we did something positive. Or did we?
Zambian writer Evans Munyemesha does not think so. In an article titled International Aid, published in The Zambian, he charges that development aid, “has financed the creation of monstrous projects that, at vast expense, have devastated the environment and ruined lives”. Rather than getting down to “the hard task of wealth creation”, Munyemesha says, “easy handouts” have been substituted “for the rigors of self-help”, leaving the receiving countries economically crippled and their people worse off than before. If we look at results, African ‘aid’ has been an unmitigated disaster:
“[Africa] has lost self-sufficiency in food production that it enjoyed before development assistance was invented, and during the past few decades, has become instead a continent-sized beggar hopelessly dependent on the largesse of outsiders—per-capita food production has fallen in every year since the 1960s. Seven out of every ten Africans, are now reckoned to be destitute or on the verge of extreme poverty, with the result that the continent has the highest infant mortality rates in the world, the lowest average life-expectancies in the world, the lowest literacy rates, the fewest doctors per head of population, and the fewest children in school.”