Foreign aid skepticism is skepticism concerning the impact of foreign aid programs.

Foreign aid skeptics such as Dambisa Moyo, William Easterly and Angus Deaton criticize foreign aid programs on various grounds. Three of the most commonly raised objections are that aid programs have been (1) extremely costly, (2) largely ineffective, and (3) often net harmful (Easterly 2006; Moyo 2009; Deaton 2013). The rest of this entry summarizes some responses to these criticisms.

Responses

Costly programs can still be cost-effective. Aid skeptics often object to the high costs of aid programs. For example, Moyo writes: "So there we have it: sixty years, over US$1 trillion dollars of African aid, and not much good to show for it." (Moyo 2009: p. 52) Similarly, Easterly writes: "the other tragedy of the world’s poor… is the tragedy in which the West spent $2.3 trillion on foreign aid over the last five decades and still had not managed to get twelve-cent medicines to children to prevent half of all malaria deaths. The West spent $2.3 trillion and still had not managed to get four-dollar bed nets to poor families. The West spent $2.3 trillion and still had not managed to get three dollars to each new mother to prevent five million child deaths." (Easterly 2006: p. 15)...

(Read More)