Foreign Aid in the Crosshairs

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Global health advocates have a lot at stake in the simmering debate over the merits of foreign aid, spurred in large part by Dead Aid, the provocative book by Oxford-trained Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo. In the book, Moyo argues that foreign aid has propped up unaccountable, and sometimes corrupt, African governments and created dependency, rather than creativity, in those countries’ economic policies.

Critics have countered that such aid—health-related spending in particular–reduces poverty, saves millions of lives, and burnishes America’s image abroad at a critical moment. Tonight this issue will be aired in an online debate.

The participants include Moyo, ONE Policy Advisory Board member Paul Collier, Stephen Lewis, and Hernando de Soto. Here’s the promo from the organizers: “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 will explore the opportunities and hazards of foreign aid, by debating the question: “Is foreign aid to the developing countries doing more harm than good?”

It starts at 6:45 eastern time. You can watch and submit comments and questions here http://www.munkdebates.com/.

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