Why is foreign aid hurting Africa? Is foreign aid hurting Africa? Relax it’s not. While there are certainly examples of aid done right and aid done wrong, the reality is when done correctly (which it usually is) aid is extremely effective.
Why do people say aid is hurting Africa? Let’s be honest, it bothers us to see human suffering and we feel guilty that we’re not doing something about it. In the end, we’re more than happy to buy into an excuse to do nothing. You’ll see this play out in every country. Talk to the “have’s” in any country and they’ll usually tell you why the “have not’s” can’t be helped. Regardless of whether you visit South Africa or India, as an outsider it’s usually quite disturbing hearing a person driving a Mercedes explain to you why the starving child living on the streets outside his mansion can’t be helped. In our never-ending pursuit to be at peace with ourselves, it’s far easier to maintain our lifestyle and buy into doing nothing is better than something.
Four of the ten fastest-growing economies are African countries that have received foreign aid.
- Ethiopia 9.7
- Turkmenistan 9.1
- Democratic Republic of the Congo 8.6
- Myanmar 8.3
- Uzbekistan 7.9
- Cote d’Ivoire 7.8
- Papua New Guinea 7.6
- India 7.6
- Bhutan 7.6
- Mozambique 7.3
Annual average GDP growth % (2014-2017)
Good News in the War on Poverty
In 2015 The United Nations completed The Millennium Development Goals which began in 1990. Over that period, remarkable results have been achieved.
- In 1990, nearly half of the population in developing regions lived on less than $1.25 a day. This rate dropped to 14% in 2015.
- The total number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than half from 1.9 billion to 836 million.
- The number of underfed people has been almost cut in half from 23.3% to 12.9%
- Primary school enrollment has risen to 91% from 83%.
- Sub-Saharan Africa achieved a 20% increase in primary school enrollment from 2000 to 2015.
- The number of primary school-aged children who were out of school dropped from 100 million to 57 million over the past 15 years.
- The literacy rate of those between 15 and 24 years old has risen from 83% to 91%.
- The proportion of girls in school in Southern Asia has risen from 74 girls for every 100 boys to 103 girls for every 100 boys
- Women now make up 41% of paid non-agricultural employments, an increase from 35%
- The under-five mortality rate dropped from 90 to 43 deaths per 1,000 live births and the number of under-five deaths dropped from 12.7 million to almost 6 million despite the boom in global population
- The number of globally reported measles cases declined by 67% since 2000 and measles vaccinations helped prevent nearly 15.6 million deaths
- Maternal mortality declined by almost half
- New infections of HIV decreased by approximately 40% since 2000
- The use of Antiretroviral Therapy by AIDS patients increased from 800,000 in 2003 to 13.6 million which has averted 7.6 million deaths between 1995 and 2003
- Over 6.2 million malaria deaths have been averted since 2000
- The tuberculosis mortality rate fell by 45% saving an estimated 37 million lives
- Official development assistance from developed countries increased by 66% in real terms since 2000 and 5 countries (Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, and the UK) exceeded the 0.7% Gross National Income UN assistance target
- Internet usage is up from 6% in 2000 to 43% in 2015 connecting 3.2 billion people worldwide