The poorer you are, the less aid you get

Published: Friday 15 July 1994

-- THE Human Development Report 1994 of the United Nations Development Programme reveals that economic relationships between the North and the South remain as skewed as before. Development assistance or aid to developing countries from developed nations is often driven by political expediency, ideological confrontation and commercial self interest. Some of the points noted in the recently released report:

Money for nothing
Donors send less than 1/3rd of the development assistance to the 10 most populous countries that together account for 2/3rd of the world's poor.

Relocated priorities
Regional disparities exist -- the richer countries of the Middle East get $21 per capita, compared to $6 per capita received by the poorer countries. Egypt receives $280 in aid for every poor person while Bangladesh and India get only $19 and $7 respectively.

Arms-twisting aid
Countries with high military spending have been able to garner a larger share of the aid loans. Developmental assistance has often been linked with human rights and democratic processes, but the shares of the Philippines and Bangladesh in the total loans given by the World Bank declined after they lifted martial law.

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