Nepal is one of the best examples of failed development aid – so why do the donors keep pumping more money in?
Nepal has been receiving foreign aid for over 60 years; generally running at fairly stable levels, currently worth over $1bn a year, contributing about a quarter of the government budget.
Nepal is now hoping to graduate from the ranks of Least Developed Countries in 2022. And, on current form, it’s likely to miss that target, possibly becoming (along with Afghanistan) one of the last two LDCs left in Asia.
The donors are also wrong to believe (as they often do) that the government “doesn’t understand” what it is doing, or “needs educating”. When it comes to serving their own interests, and those of their core constituents, the country’s leaders are successful. Unfortunately for most Nepalis, providing “development” for the wider public is often in conflict with those interests.
By pumping in money without achievements to match, the donors partly contribute to making extractive politics sustainable. They should recognise that when a scheme doesn’t deliver the promised results, the money has still paid for something: such as the empowerment of the corrupt …
Read the full article by Thomas Bell by clicking here.