Improving Humanitarian Aid

David Miliband and Ravi Gurumurphy explored some interesting ways to make Aid and relief more efficient and effective in a recent Foreign Affairs article –

In exploring the changing landscape the Aid industry faces they propose that…

Expanding foreign direct investment, removing international agricultural trade subsidies and tariffs, and facilitating migration and remittances would do far more to eradicate poverty than development assistance.

They also lament the lack of focus on fragile states. Fragile states are harder to do Aid work in and it is more of a challenge to achieve results. That is why Senegal receives much more NGO and Aid support than its more fragile neighbor The Gambia. It’s not because of need.

With just 38 percent of aid spent in fragile states today, the growing concentration of poverty, along with the current mismatch between need and provision, makes the case for doubling aid spending in these places.

Whilst we have seen great strides in dealing with global poverty in stable middle-income countries like India and China, we run the risk of forgetting about those in smaller and less stable territories.
book-16Milliband and Gurumurthy are also brave enough to challenge the MDG’s –

When the MDGs were established in 2000, the individual targets for each goal were set at a global level. Those targets then became the de facto standard for every country, whatever its starting point. As a result, the incentive was to focus on those countries that were closer to the threshold and those with the largest concentrations of poverty. So even as overall living standards have increased since the goals were introduced, the MDGs reinforced the gap between those living in stable states and those living in fragile places.

Reading this made me more convinced Labour picked the wrong brother.

Ed Milliband, David’s brother, who recently lost the election in the U.K.

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