How Agencies Harm the Poor

This is an interesting story about development agency written by Marc F Bellemare. He has raised a big question to the development agencies whether they are working for the Poor or solely for their Mission !? Typhoon Haiyan left a trail of destruction across the Philippines (Tacloban) on 8 November 2013, forcing over 4 million people from their homes and leaving many families with nothing. Many donors and development agencies are working for ”betterment of victims”. But Marc saw different picture behind the help and wrote this articles which was published on the Foreign affairs web page. Some thematic lines are illustrated below as it is-

APTOPIX Philippines Typhoon…..‘‘A loan to a poor single woman might allow her to buy a sewing machine and start her own clothes-mending business, but in the absence of insurance markets, she still faces the risk of having to sell off all of her assets (including her sewing machine) to pay for the medical treatment of a sick child…The more pies they have their fingers in, the more sway they carry within their organizations…“I can’t even have a road construction project without explicitly including a nutrition component,” a former student of mine who works for one of the world’s biggest aid organizations complained to me this summer -“A nutrition component — as part of a road construction project!”…Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to deliver Internet access to the five billion people who are not yet online — a priority that Bill Gates called “a joke” when compared to eradicating malaria…The extreme poor, or the roughly 1.3 billion people living on less than $1.25 a day. So it is high time for development agencies, non-governmental organizations, and philanthropies to reconsider what kind of activities they are promoting and to ask themselves whether they are directly contributing to improving the lives of the extreme poor or merely watering down development efforts…

Development policy can become a much more effective instrument of foreign policy…’’

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© Marc F. Bellemare; Foreign Affairs; January 5 2014 = Development Bloat- How Mission Creep Harms the Poor;