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Oct Global Health Readings, Part 2

Summarizes the arguments of Deaton, an economist I give more credence to than some of the others who arrive at a negative stance on development aid. While I continue to think that aid can be useful, his critiques pack a punch, and the final paragraphs of the article I find great:

But mostly, he said, the rich world needs to think about “what can we do that would make lives better for millions of poor people around the world without getting into their economies in the way that we’re doing by giving huge sums of money to their governments.” Overall, he argues that we should focus on doing less harm in the developing world, like selling fewer weapons to despots, or ensuring that developing countries get a fair deal in trade agreements, and aren’t harmed by U.S. foreign policy decisions.

Deaton also believes that our attitude toward foreign aid – that developed countries ought to swoop in and save everyone else – is condescending and suspiciously similar to the ideas of colonialism.  The rhetoric of colonialism, too, “was all about helping people, albeit about bringing civilization and enlightenment to people whose humanity was far from fully recognized,” he has written.

This piece provides a good reminder that fear of the other is a pretty pervasive impulse throughout our world; in this case, a depressing review of the situation of Haitians within the Dominican Republic.
Finally, the UN formally adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals to guide work for the next 15 years. I’m looking for a nice piece providing a bit more analysis, but in the interim, worth just seeing what has been chosen.
This entry was posted in BMC.
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