Free trade, not foreign aid, will help to tackle extreme poverty

Governments should not dictate development priorities

Commenting ahead of a UN conference on aid which will set the next Millennium Development Goals, Prof Philip Booth, Editorial Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“In Africa, aid is a side-show at best and damaging at worst. Poverty is falling in the region due to a reduction in conflict and the emergence - in some parts of the continent - of more stable democracies. The rapid reduction in poverty experienced in both India and China demonstrate that it is not development aid and international action but home-grown policies to promote economic liberalisation which succeed.



“The role for international action is limited. A self-appointed political elite is clearly not best placed to dictate development priorities to other countries. Rather than providing foreign aid, we should be gently encouraging and assisting poor countries to develop the basic economic, legal and institutional frameworks to allow business and enterprise to flourish.”


Notes to editors:

To arrange an interview with an IEA spokesperson, please contact Stephanie Lis, Communications Officer: 0207 799 8900 or 07766 221 268.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.
 


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