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  1. 1

    Aid can work.

    Bourguignon F; Sundberg M

    Finance and Development. 2007 Mar; 44(1):[5] p.

    This approach is a bit like setting up a straw man only to knock it down. The aid industry unquestionably provides ample fodder for critics: many cases exist of aid funding poorly conceived, badly executed, unsustainable projects (for example, cement factories built far from sources of gypsum and sand). And some badly managed countries have, indeed, received millions, especially during the Cold War, when aid was extended for geopolitical objectives. At times, aid agencies followed fads that later proved misguided (recall the popular integrated rural development projects of the 1970s). This does not prove that all aid has been, or is, ineffective. It is entirely unsurprising that many economists have found the relationship between aggregate aid and growth to be weak. Evidence suggests a high level of heterogeneity in the effects of aid, which comes on top of the typical statistical problems that arise in cross-country analysis. Multiple markers for development success--income growth, poverty reduction, literacy, access to sanitation, and inoculations--further complicate empirical analysis. Case studies do not solve this problem because of the difficulty of establishing a counterfactual: some argue that aid has not prevented growing numbers of poor in Africa; others argue that the situation would be far worse without aid. Although these findings may make aid seem indefensible, much of the criticism is misguided. This isn't to say the impact of aid is easily known or that we can fine-tune aid to improve results. Even though it will be difficult for some time to come up with adequate evidence, there are strong grounds for believing that aid fosters development. (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    HIV / AIDS does not recognize borders.

    Choices. 2001 Dec; 1.

    As UNDP's Goodwill Ambassador to combat poverty, I am deeply aware of the link between poverty and AIDS. Poor people suffer more from disease, and HIV/ AIDS creates more poverty. Being poor is hard enough, but poverty added to a deadly disease is nothing short of a disaster for families and whole communities. Since HIV/ AIDS is found especially among the youngest and most active, the more it spreads, the more people in the prime of life must stop working and support those who depend on them. The results are devastating for low-income families. HIV/AIDS is becoming a major development problem affecting all sectors of society and, even worse, it is wiping out the progress made thus far. While it has been possible to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS in rich countries through prevention campaigns and investment in research and treatment, things have been very different in many poor countries. In the poorest countries, many have no access to information that could prevent infection, and those who are infected do not have the drugs that could give them a few more precious years to live. (excerpt)
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