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Foreign Aid

Foreign Aid Does More Harm Than Good...


June 1, 2009

In a world where over 3 billion people live on under $2 a day, where economies and threats are globally interconnected, and where only small amounts of aid are given, should wealthy nations do more?  Or, given the poor track record of aid, the support it provides to dictators and tyrants, and the actual need for individual entrepreneurialism and free markets, should we focus our limited resources elsewhere?

The third Munk Debate explored the opportunities and hazards of foreign aid, by debating the question: Is foreign aid doing more harm than good?

Debate Results

Pre-Debate Results

39% Pro 61% Con

Post-Debate Results

41% Pro 59% Con

PRO gains 2%. PRO wins



Hernando de Soto

“If the United States were to hike its foreign-aid budget to the level recommended by the United Nations-0.7 percent of national income-it would take the richest country on earth more than 150 years to transfer to the world's poor resources equal to those they already possess.”

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Dambisa Moyo

“I wish we questioned the aid model as much as we are questioning the capitalism model. Sometimes the most generous thing you can do is just say no.”

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Stephen Lewis

“It is almost inconceivable that the extravagant promises of Gleneagles are revealed as so fatuous that the Global Fund is now compromised. No one is asking for any more than that which was promised. But the Pavlovian betrayal of the South has already begun. Everything in the battle against AIDS is put at risk by the behaviour of the G8.”

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Paul Collier

“I doubt that many of Africa's problems can be attributed to aid. It is, in my view, something of a sideshow. Because it lends itself to a simple morality story of guilt and reparation, it receives more attention than is warranted.”

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