Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Foreign aid in nepal

I used to wonder how foreign aid starts to proliferate in Nepal. Well Nepal received aid for the first time from US in 1950s, when China invaded Tibet - a gesture to ensure that communism didn't penetrate Nepal. Similarly India also started development programs in Nepal - building Tribhuvan highway and Tribhuvan International Airport - to make Nepal more and more dependent on them. See everyone has a motive - "money for nothing" doesn't apply in this practical world.

It's been more than 50 years and still aid is coming. People argue that aid is an attempt to influence the receiver - us in our case. Maybe a bit of truth. There's also an argument that foreign aid is creating jobs for the donor countries. More than 60% of total aid is taken back by themselves in the form of salary, travel and god knows what else. And yes there will also be local employees and another 20% goes to them. Now the remaining less than 20% goes to the actual development work. This may not be true in all the cases. People again justify that something is better than nothing - atleast 20% goes to development work. They are also right.

There's also a lot of debates on "Whether foreign aid is doing more harm than good in Africa". They are saying that they need capital and investments, not foreign aid.

I wonder if there's going to be any similar debate in Nepal where foreign aid fills large percentage of annual budget. I hardly see any.

No comments: