Living in Ethiopia for the last three years, I saw aid working every day. I saw children going to school, health workers in rural villages, and food or cash preventing hunger for the poorest people. The academic debates about aid effectiveness seem surreal when you are surrounded by tangible, visible evidence of the huge difference aid makes to people’s lives.
CGD Policy Blogs
This is a joint post with Julie Walz and originally appeared on The Broker Website.
The new Dutch government plans to cut spending on foreign aid from 0.8% to 0.7% of gross national income. Of course, by international standards, the Netherlands will remain one of the most generous nations when it comes to foreign aid: only a handful of countries even come close to 0.7%. Still, the prospective cut raises questions: Is the Netherlands shirking its responsibilities to the developing world?
We would answer: It need not, even if aid is cut.
Gorik Ooms and European colleagues are organizing a small meeting in Brussels in October to be called the Global Responsibilities for Global Health Rights Conference. The Conference is organized by the Helene De Beir Foundation and has the moral or financial support of AIDS Fonds, Netherlands; Parliamentarians for the MDGs, Belgium; International Centre for Reproductive Health, Belgium; International Civil Society Support, Netherlands; Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium and The Lancet, United Kingdom.
How NOT to Fix the Global Food Crisis -- France Says Poor Countries Should Provide EU-Style Farm Subsidies, while U.S. Farm Bill Puts Vested Interests First
And now for a really bad idea: according to the Financial Times Michel Barnier, France's farm minister, told a food crisis summit in Berne that Africa and Latin America should adopt their own versions of Europe's Common Agricultural Policy -- massive trade-distorting subsidies -- as a response to rising demand for food.
The G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, this week will focus global attention on African development and broader foreign assistance issues.