Friday, June 29, 2007

A Nice Round Number

In a recent post I questioned whether African development problems stemmed largely from a lack of foreign aid. I asked "haven't untold billions of dollars been send in aid and debt relief?"

Well, untold billions is pretty fuzzy even for me, so I asked the redoubtable Bill Easterly if he perhaps knew how much aid had gone to Africa.

Here is what he told me: "Total net aid (including concessional loans net of repayment and debt relief) to Africa from 1960 to 2005 is about $600 billion in 2005 dollars. This is a figure I have calculated myself recently from World Bank World Development Indicators and OECD figures."

So there you have it people, after $600 billion has gone in with (in my view at least) precious little to show for it, J. Sachs is still advocating large increases in aid as the solution and casting aspersions on anyone who might beg to differ.

I still beg to differ.