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Submitted by yared on
Thanks for raising this issue Shanta I read both the articles clearly and professionally written by Helen Epstein and the respond from Ken Ohashi. Thanks both for your contribution. Ethiopia has been one of the major recipients of international aid in recent times. According to OECD-DAC statistics, net ODA to Ethiopia amounted to US$1.94 billion in 2006, making it the 7th largest recipient among 169 aid receiving developing countries. In absolute terms, the amount of ODA has risen sharply from an average of $881 million per annum in the second half of the 1990s to over $1574 million per annum for the first half of the 2000s. Over the last seven years (2000-2006), ODA has averaged at $1683 million per year. This means that on average one Ethiopian receives around $ 20 aid per year. What I really surprised in Ethiopia is that as aid is increasing from time to time, the quality of life in Ethiopia for the average Ethiopian are coming worsen and worsen. The economist published today, as “DEBT is as powerful a drug as alcohol and nicotine”. It may help to forget the problem for a very short periods but not a long run solution, as Ethiopia has enjoyed a significance amount of aid since 1992/93. Leaving in Ethiopia for one average Ethiopian is a magic today than many years before. Inflation is worse than in any African country except Zimbabwe and beyond the break-even point. Instead of stimulating economic growth, inflationary pressure seems to be on the verge of distorting the allocation of resources and is likely to be a deterrent to undertaking productive investments. Shortage of foreign currency in the country is getting more severe and has already started hampering most of businesses. The World Bank has been in Ethiopia since 1945 with a primary objective of tackling poverty bad-governance. In Ethiopia, and in many other developing countries, the World Bank supports governments in the development and implementation of programs geared towards accelerated pro-poor growth. Despite its constant pumping of capital, for the last 63 years, the World Bank could not shield Ethiopia from being the symbol of poverty and bad-governance in the world, i.e. the World Bank did not meet its dual objective in Ethiopia for 63 years. Evidently, the injection of a large dose of aid fund, loan, transfer capital, and domestic capital formation has induced uninterrupted GDP growth in Ethiopia between 2001 and 2007. In the last five years, the government of Meles Zenawi, the World Bank, and the IMF have produced voluminous documents that highlight the growth of the Ethiopian economy. As poor as Ethiopians are, such a claim would have been valid only if the heralded growth had a positive impact on the daily life of poor Ethiopians. Economic growth has no meaning to the majority of Ethiopians unless its benefit trickles down to them. So if the economy is booming why do many Ethiopians suffer in poverty? Why does the UN Misery Index report show Ethiopia at the bottom list? ( (Misery Index is a measure of economic well-being for a specified economy, computed by taking the sum of the unemployment rate and the inflation rate for a given period, the availability of schools, clean water and medical care, and whether people can play a role in politics) What can I say at the end is that, if aid would not bring the expected targets to the “real” donors and for the Ethiopian people, then giving aid becomes a threat than opportunity.