The paradox of aid to resource-rich countries

An oil pump in Angola. The country, which produces 1.5 million barrels of oil a day and holds over $30 billion in international reserves, has 94 percent of its rural dwellers living on less than $2 a day. Photo by: jbdodane / CC BY-NC

In 2012, an Angolan hospital doctor, Dr. Almeida Chitungo, made a dramatic appeal for outside help. The “government is trying hard to replenish food stuffs but it is being overwhelmed by the demand of supplementary food to almost all hospitals in provinces hit by the drought,” a 2012 fundraising piece posted on the Christian charity World Vision’s website quoted him as saying. “We need partners to urgently come to our rescue with supplies of supplementary food like milk and flour, otherwise children’s lives are at stake here.”

Others were less convinced that the main culprit was drought or that the Angolan government was “trying hard” to help its people but unable to afford milk and flour, let alone that more donor funds were the answer.

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About the author

  • Till bruckner

    Till Bruckner

    Till Bruckner is the founder of TranspariMED, an initiative that works to end evidence distortion in medicine, and manages advocacy for Transparify, an initiative promoting transparency and integrity in policy research. In his previous life, he worked in international development, occupying both field and research roles. Till is interested in the hidden power relationships that structure global politics and our everyday lives, and in finding new ways of using research and advocacy to make the world a better place. Till holds a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Bristol, U.K.