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Last month I blogged a New York Timesinterview with Dambisa Moyo, whom the paper aptly dubbed the "Anti-Bono." A youngish woman who grew up in Zambia and holds degrees from Harvard and Oxford, she launches a frontal assault on foreign assistance in her new book, Dead Aid. For her, ODA is DOA.
The Templeton Foundation's ad in Sunday's NYTimes, and the associated postings on the foundation's Web site asked "Will Money Solve Africa's Development Problems?" A quick glance at the distribution of answers is bound to cause some chagrin in the development aid world. Of the eight men asked, two said "yes," five said "no" or "no way" or "I thought so" (which I took as a 'no") and one hedged his bet with "only if."
The FT notes that talks have begun for the IDA-15 replenishment round. This is the latest set of negotiations that take place every three years where the World Bank asks its shareholders for cash to provide grants or to buy down the interest rates for its lending to poor countries--and when the donors typically load up the Bank with new conditions. Although these talks are often tough, the donors almost always increase their contributions.
Just after the 2006 midterm elections, I blogged about CGD research that suggested the new split between a Republican president and Democratic Congress would increase pressure on the foreign aid budget. CGD Senior Fellow Todd Moss, author of "The Surprise Party: An Analysis of ODA Flows to Africa" to which I referred, has now updated his data. His new note,"U.S.
President Bush called last week’s midterm election results “a thumpin’” as the Democrats took control of both the House and the Senate. Since then, Republicans and Democrats have been promising to work in a “bipartisan way for all Americans.” But what does it mean for global development that the Republicans hold the presidency while the Democrats control the House and Senate?
There have been many many bad ideas over the years about how to help Africa, but here’s my vote for the worst one in a long while: UNCTAD’s proposal to create a new UN agency to manage a doubling of aid flows to the continent.
Before we get to the proposed solution, the analysis of the problem is deeply flawed. According to the press release:
Yesterday, an umbrella group of European non-governmental organizations (NGOs) issued “EU Aid: Genuine Leadership or Misleading Figures?” (pdf), which “blow[s] the whistle on official aid statistics revealing just how misleading they really are.”
They argue that the billions of euros in recent debt cancellation for Iraq and Nigeria are not aid:
The article Speak softly and carry a big wallet (pdf) about the nomination of Randall Tobias as the new USAID administrator in the January 26th issue of The Economist highlights recent plans for restructuring the US foreign aid program and reviews some of the debate on the potential politicization of US development assistance. The article cites the CGD working paper “The Global War on Terror and U.S.