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Targeted Financial Assistance Offers Middle Ground Between Arguments For And Against Higher Development Spending

In this post on the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog,” Bjorn Lomborg, author and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, examines the issue of foreign aid in this time of austerity, writing, “Targeted financial assistance offers a middle path between the arguments for and against higher development spending.” He adds, “A different way of focusing this spending would be to examine where we could do the most good … Instead of focusing on the issues that have the most vocal proponents or the most heart-wrenching pictures, looking at costs and benefits puts the focus on solutions that will do the most good for the least money.”

Lomborg notes two investments — increasing agricultural productivity and improving nutrition to support brain development — highlighted by an expert panel at the Copenhagen Consensus last September, writing they “reveal a middle path between those who argue donor countries should give less, and those who argue that this will cost lives — by focusing on smarter, more effective ways to help.” He concludes, “These investments show both new and overlooked ways to respond to global challenges” (6/4).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.