Sunday, December 23, 2007

Foreign Aid Reduces Poverty!

And to think some of us actually argued that foreign aid does not reduce poverty! Boy, was I wrong about that. We can now read how Uganda's president Moseveni will buy a new £24 million (€34 million, $48 million) Gulfstream presidential jet.

Now that poverty victim will no longer have to put up with the £16m aircraft he bought just 7 years ago. Here is a direct, concrete example of how foreign aid successfully reduces poverty! You'd have to be Scrooge to deny him that.....

In a related breakthrough in economics, the U.K. Department for International Development vehemently denies that the £700 million of British taxpayer's money that they donate to Uganda goes to paying for the jet. I quote:

"All UK aid that goes directly to the Ugandan government is for poverty reduction purposes and supports the national poverty eradication action plan. It is accounted for by the ministry of finance and the Bank of Uganda and donors actively review these accounts."

Many people would of course argue that money is fungible. If someone gives me the money for the purpose of paying the rent, then I can use the rest of my income for other purposes. Similarly, if the government of Uganda receives British money for paying for schools or whatever, this gives the Ugandian government more money for buying Gulfstream II jets. But if the of course highly competent staff hired by the British government says otherwise, then that can't be true anymore.....


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