Aid:Where Doubts Arise

Doubts arise when the question is asked whether we know how the aid is spent and what on. Perhaps we need to be more cynical than sceptical as there seems to be a big mess out there!

The UK government has handed out £163million since 2006 for a Reproductive & Child Health Programme in India. Unfortunately, the money was siphoned off and used for a separate programme of sterilization on both men and women. Another twist in this sordid tale is that many of those who opted for the sterilization programme were bribed to participate. Does this come under: misuse, corruption, manipulation of the vulnerable or all the above?

Q. Was anyone sacked for misappropriation? No one at all? Nobody!

Is this a puzzle?

  • We give aid to Nigeria – it has its own oil supply.
  • We give aid to Angola – it has its own oil supply.
  • Ghana – ditto.
  • South Sudan – ditto.

Am I detecting a pattern here or has cynicism poisoned my faculties?

A Cover Up?

In Southern Africa attempts to establish a tarpaulin business has failed to find a world market and has thus become dependent on aid agency purchases. It seems the locally sourced raw materials are not as good as that sourced by India and China. The upshot is that the African tarpaulin is not up to international standard and so is dependent on the donor agencies buying it.

Q. If the aid agencies are prepared to subsidize a business, as they are, why not start a good business, one that can develop and bring long term employment and value to the area?

A bit of a Tiff!

It’s always about money

How can a solution to Africa’s problems ever be found when major donors can’t agree on the best route forward? (Daily Mail) Under the umbrella of Affordable Medicines, the UK government is part funding a programme to combat disease, e.g. malaria. Launched in 2009, the UK has given £72m to subsidize the purchase and distribution of the medicine.  A body known as Global Fund is administering the programme. Both the UK government and Global Fund say it is proving a success (no real data).

However, Oxfam argue that the programme is missing out the poorest and not reaching the most at risk. Oxfam further argue that the money spent, would be better used to fund professional health workers.

The tag team of UK & Global insist they are making good progress. Global, going for a knock out, suggest that Oxfam’s nose is out of joint because the scheme involves buying the medicines from the big drug companies.

This situation epitomizes why aid to Africa is failing; there is no coherent policy! See post Made of Sand: Rwanda

Help, I need somebody……..


Too many agencies making too much broth;

Too many noses stuck in the trough.

Too much dumping causing too little growth.

Being too dependent brings too much sloth.

Too many nice guys, looking for praise,

Too much politics causes too many graves.