The Politics of Global Aid

Authored by: Peter Muennig , Celina Su

Routledge Handbook of Global Public Health

Print publication date:  December  2010
Online publication date:  December  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415778480
eBook ISBN: 9780203832721
Adobe ISBN: 9781136838330


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International aid refers to the transfer of funds from one entity or government to another across borders. In global public health, even aid is contentious. Tensions surround how much aid is necessary, how it should be used, and even whether it should be given at all. These tensions arise not only because aid to poor countries is often poorly used, but also because it may, sometimes, do more harm than good. For instance, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been a major recipient of aid for many decades and has deteriorated in most measures of development over that time. In other cases, though, aid seems to have played a major role in developing nations’ literacy, health, and economic well-being. South Korea, one of the world’s richer economies, was largely built on aid. In this chapter, we will take a critical look at the key arguments and bodies of evidence of each of these schools of thought. 1

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