foreign aid

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Development Aid: A Mixed Track Record

Extreme poverty has never been lower in the history of mankind. 135 billion USD is spent on official development aid every year. However, to eradicate extreme poverty, is the answer to simply increase aid? Fredrik Thor investigates.

Nepal and the trouble with aid

In the wake of the recent earthquake, Nepal received a deluge of international aid. But does aid help developing economies or stifle them? Jesse Condie examines the evidence.

Book Review: The Great Escape

The past two and a half centuries have witnessed the largest and most spectacular increase in human wellbeing in history. Economies accounting for the majority of the world’s population have grown exponentially, supporting rapid population expansions while raising material living standards. At the same time, life expectancy in most parts of the world has soared. A child born in sub-Saharan Africa today is more likely to live to the age of five than a child born in the UK just a century ago.
Angus Deaton, an economist at Princeton, gives a broad overview of both of these dimensions of progress, telling the intertwined stories of the economic and medical progress that have shaped the modern world. His thesis is largely positive: mankind has made significant progress raising its wellbeing.

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AusAID: why Australia and the world’s poorest need it

On September 18 Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the government’s decision to effectively abolish AusAID by integrating it into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He cited ‘confused responsibilities, duplication and waste’ as reasons for the merger, and suggested that now the ‘aid and diplomatic arms of Australia’s international policy agenda are to be more closely aligned’. The decision elicited a concerned response from NGOs and others involved in the aid sector, who defend the existence of AusAID on the grounds that foreign policy and development issues are not the same thing, and should not be treated as such.

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The Politics and Economics of Aid

In delivering this year’s budget Treasurer Wayne Swan made the controversial decision to defer raising foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income, a commitment made by the Labor government. Instead, the budget included a modest increase of $300 million and foreign aid remains at 0.35 per cent of GNI. This announcement was met with criticism from the Greens and non-governmental organisations, many of whom receive funding through AusAid.

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