Global health icon says aid must build local systems
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Whether helping local farmers increase their crop production or supporting neighbors to rebuild after a natural disaster, few Americans would disagree that the aim of US foreign assistance must be to help people help themselves. But sixty years of foreign aid has shown that international donors alone cannot fix the problems of developing countries.
Paul Farmer reminds us in his Foreign Affairs article, “Rethinking Foreign Aid,” that too often US foreign aid is implemented from the top down. It seems to have lost sight of the real objective—the actual needs of people who are poor.
That why we advocate with decision makers in Washington DC to improve the way the US government delivers aid. For US foreign aid to be effective, who delivers it and how it is delivered, matters–something the US public understands.
- Health Care