overlooking the humanitarian needs of poorer nations in favour of
supporting countries they believe are “politically and militarily
important”, Oxfam International has stated.
According to a report from the charity entitled Whose Aid is it
Anyway?, aid of this kind is often unsustainable and expensive and
is used by international governments to protect their short-term
foreign policy objectives.
On top of this, it can also leave beneficiaries and aid workers
vulnerable to armed attack since it blurs the line between civilian
and military activity.
The humanitarian organisation reports that aid from wealthy
countries rose significantly between 2001 and 2008, yet 40 per cent
of the increase was spent in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Meanwhile, the remainder was shared between 150 other
“Some donor governments are using aid to score quick political
points, instead of looking at the big picture of how to tackle
poverty,” said Mike Lewis, author of the report.
Mr Lewis added that effective aid “saves lives, reduces poverty,
builds health and education systems, and strengthens the economies
of poorer countries”.
Oxfam works in 98 countries worldwide.