There is no doubt: we want to help.
The well-documented horrors of extreme poverty around the world have created a moral imperative that people have responded to in their millions.
Yet the poverty persists. At a time of unprecedented global prosperity, children are starving to death. Are we not being generous enough? Or is the problem somehow insoluble, an inevitable outcome of historical circumstance?
In this provocative and compelling book, Dambisa Moyo argues that the most important challenge we face today is to destroy the myth that Aid actually works. In the modern globalized economy, simply handing out more money, however well intentioned, will not help the poorest nations achieve sustainable long-term growth. Dead Aid analyses the history of economic development over the last fifty years and shows how Aid crowds out financial and social capital and feeds corruption; the countries that have 'caught up' did so despite rather than because of Aid.
There is, however, an alternative. Extreme poverty is not inevitable. Dambisa Moyo shows how, with improved access to capital and markets and with the right policies, even the poorest nations can prosper.
If we really do want to help, we have to do more than just appease our consciences, hoping for the best, expecting the worst. We need first to understand the problem.