Development Assistance’s Dilemmas

A frequent demand by NGOs that deal with developing countries’ affairs is that rich countries (i.e., mainly the European Union, the US, Canada and Japan) increase the levels of their ODA (=official development assistance). In fact, developed countries commited (40 years ago) to raise their ODA to a level of 0,7% of their respective GDPs. So far, only a handful met this obligation. Meanwhile, there are many arguing that ODA is doomed to failure, so it is a wastage of time and money to engage in development assistance at all. I think that the problem is rather more complex. It is not just about whether and how much to invest in ODA – the matter is, actually, how we do it. And there are many problematic issues in this area. Continue reading

0,7 per cent ODA – Is that Enough?

An often quoted criticism of the rich countries by globalization critics is that they permanently seem unable to meet the goal of spending 0,7 per cent of their GNP on Official Development Assistance – something they committed to in 1970 for the first time. 40 years have gone since, and there are only 5 OECD countries whose ODA lies above the target: Luxemburg, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands and Denmark. Others are far from reaching it. Continue reading