Thursday, 17 January 2008

Development aid, mostly a waste of money

In the news today: a majority of Dutch believe we give too much money to development aid. I am part of that majority: having witnessned first hand the corruption, waste and business class travel by overpaid bureaucrats. Quote development aid bureaucrat Ms. Herfkens: "Of course I understand that some people think flying business class is luxurious. Those are people who only fly for vacation. For me, there were practical reasons. If you fly economy class, you have to check in much earlier. I'm not going to waste any time on that...If I work fewer hours, if I'm less efficient because economy class is more tiring _ So I consider that too." Unquote
I fully agree that a large portion of development aid ends up in the wrong places. And I also hate it when you give a few euros to an organization they immediately send you glossy magazines. It is an industry like any other. I'd rather give a big tip to a waiter when I travel to a poor country.

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