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Privatizing Foreign Aid Could Cut Down On Corruption

The Hill: Where does U.S. foreign aid money go?
Claudia R. Williamson, assistant professor of economics at Mississippi State University

“…[I]n a recent paper examining the effectiveness of [U.S. foreign aid] contributions and the practices of the agencies that distribute them, my colleague and I find that these acts of good will may benefit donors with good PR points, more than they benefit recipients. … [P]oor management and lax adherence to standards means foreign aid is wasting tax dollars, and, ultimately, is not helping the poor. Worse than ineffective, many have long suspected that U.S. foreign aid inadvertently ends up supporting corrupt regimes. … While rules are in place, there is no a way to punish politicians who break them and fall back into lax distribution of funds. An alternative is to privatize all foreign aid. … The reality that these dollars are funding unnecessary initiatives and corrupt governments is an outrage and there is no reason to continue on this course when we have a more effective, proven approach right in front of us” (2/12).

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