Friday, August 31, 2007

Foreign aid
Aid (or "international aid", "overseas aid", or "foreign aid", especially in the United States) is the help, mostly economic, which may be provided to communities or countries in the event of a humanitarian crisis or to achieve a socioeconomic objective. Humanitarian aid is therefore primarily used for emergency relief, while development aid aims to create long-term sustainable economic growth. Wealthier countries typically provide aid to economically developing countries.

Sources and distribution
(The use of the term "given" in this section is potentially misleading. Almost all aid from multilateral donors (e.g. World Bank) is in the form of loans.)

Project aid: Aid is given for a specific purpose e.g. building materials for a new school.
Programme aid: Aid is given for a specific sector e.g. funding of the education sector of a country.
Budget support: A form of Programme Aid that is directly channelled into the financial system of the recipient country.
Sectorwide Approaches (SWAPs): A combination of Project aid and Programme aid/Budget Support e.g. support for the education sector in a country will include both funding of education projects (like school buildings) and provide funds to maintain them (like school books).
Food aid: Food is given to countries in urgent need of food supplies, especially if they have just experienced a natural disaster.
Technical assistance: Educated personnel, such as doctors are moved into developing countries to assist with a program of development. Can be both programme and project aid.
Emergency aid: This is given to countries in the event of a natural disaster or human event, like war, and includes basic food supplies, clothing and shelter. Types of aid

Official Development Assistance (ODA): Aid provided to Part I DAC list of aid recipients developing countries with the clear aim of development.
Official Aid (OD): Aid provided to Part II DAC aid recipients. It includes both countries not considered a developing country and contributions to international organizations. (See ODA)
Other Official Flows (OFF): All other official transactions to DAC list of aid recipient countries not covered by the previous two. (See ODA) Aid terms related to DAC members

Tied aid: Aid that has geographical limitations on where it is used.
Disbursements: Aid that is actually provided, as opposed to the amount promised (commitment). Other Terms

Main article: Humanitarian aid Humanitarian aid

Main article: Development aid Development aid
The economist William Easterly and others argue that aid can often distort incentives in poor countries in various harmful ways. Aid can also involve inflows of money to poor countries that have some similarities to inflows of money from natural resources that provoke the resource curse.

Food given as aid often ended up on markets being sold privately
The government receiving aid often had secret bank accounts in which it hid foreign aid money for private purposes Notes

Håkan Malmqvist (2000), "Development Aid, Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Relief", Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden [1]
The White Man's Burden : Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly
Andrew Rogerson with Adrian Hewitt and David Waldenberg (2004), "The International Aid System 2005–2010 Forces For and Against Change", ODI Working Paper 235 [2]
"The US and foreign aid assistance" [3]
Millions Saved A compilation of case studies of successful foreign assistance by the Center for Global Development.
ActionAid, May 2005, "Real Aid" - analysis of the proportion of aid wasted on consultants, tied aid, etc

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