Financial Times Publishes Commentaries From Easterly, Sachs On Development Aid

The Financial Times recently published an opinion piece by William Easterly, professor of economics at New York University, and a response from Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and founder of the Millennium Villages Project (MVP). “…The obsession with international aid is a rich-world vanity that exaggerates the importance of western elites. It is comforting to imagine that benevolent leaders advised by wise experts could make the poor world rich. But this is a condescending fantasy. The progress that Mr. Gates celebrates [in his annual letter] is the work of entrepreneurs, inventors, traders, investors, activists — not to mention ordinary people of commitment and ingenuity striving for a better life…,” Easterly writes (1/24). Sachs responds, “William Easterly’s claim that foreign aid makes little contribution to the health of the poor is an affront to the field of public health he so blithely criticizes. For all of Mr. Easterly’s vaunted ‘entrepreneurs, inventors, traders, investors, activists,’ lifesaving tools such as vaccines, antibiotics, antiretrovirals, bed nets and oral rehydration solutions don’t reach the poor without public health…” (1/27).

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