Too much aid will hobble Arab spring

Too much aid will hobble Arab spring
By Saifedean Ammous
Published: June 7 2011 22:00 | Last updated: June 7 2011 22:00

Within months of toppling their dictatorships, Egyptians and Tunisians have been promised significant financial help from the international community, with the Group of Eight leading economies most recently pledging £12bn in aid, loans and debt relief. The wisdom of heaping cash upon these countries has been taken for granted. In fact, it may do more harm than good.

The record of development assistance leaves much to be desired. In the past six decades donors have often sought to bring about growth by funding infrastructure, agriculture and social services, with little success. Development organisations too often follow a discredited central planning model when history is testament to the way in which the grand plans of the few rarely work, while the freedom of the many succeeds in lifting one society after another from poverty to prosperity.”

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