In a new report, Oxfam has found that billions of dollars in international aid which could have transformed the lives of many people in some of the poorest countries in the world, was spent on unsustainable, expensive and dangerous aid projects which international donor governments used to support their own short-term foreign policy and security objectives.
This type of aid often by-passes the poorest people and dangerously distorts the line between civilian and military activity. This report also showed that even though aid flows were raised while they met wealthy donors international aid commitments between 2001 and 2008, more than 40 percent of this increase in aid was spent in just two countries, Afghanistan and Iraq the remainder of that was shared between 150 other poor countries.
Last year the report showed us that 225 aid workers were killed, injured or kidnapped in violent attacks, compared to 85 in 2002. The politicization and militarization of aid has in some places made it much harder for aid agencies to provide help to those in need especially in Somalia where the US humanitarian assistance for the country’s desperate populations previously the single largest source of aid dropped in 2008 to 2010 due to the US government listed some armed groups in control of most of central southern Somalia as terrorist under US law, and ended funding if aid groups could not guarantee that no aid would reach the proscribed groups.
“Oxfam Exposes How Aid Is Used For Political And Military Purposes,” Mike Lewis,
Student Researcher: Nzinga Dotson-Newman, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University