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Media Examines Recent Oxfam Report On Impact Of Aid To Developing Countries

In a recent report, Oxfam “outlines how aid has contributed to economic growth in poor countries by getting 33 million more children into school, boosting access to HIV drugs tenfold, funding tens of millions of anti-malaria bed nets, and building up health services,” Reuters AlertNet reports (Rowling, 5/20).

According to the Guardian, “The report comes in response to critics who have questioned whether international aid actually prolongs wars and who say it often falls into the wrong hands. The sceptics include the Dutch journalist Linda Polman and the Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo, who argues aid is the cause of, rather than the solution to, problems in the developing world” (Allen, 5/20).

“Moyo made a splash last year with her book Dead Aid, asserting Africa not only has little to show for more than $1 trillion in aid over the past 50 years, but is worse off because it has distorted economies and encouraged bureaucracy and corruption,” according to Reuters AlertNet.

Oxfam’s Phil Bloomer said in a statement, “Thoughtful criticism continues to play a vital part in improving aid and addressing its weaknesses but too many of the recent attacks have been ill-informed, ideological and ultimately irresponsible.” The report looks at examples where aid has worked and “where it could be done better,” Reuters AlertNet reports (5/20).

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