- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Marian L. Tupy and Michela Wrong’s Sunday Op-Ed column, “Geldof humanitarian gig” (Opinion) was a missed opportunity for a measured, thoughtful review of how foreign aid to Africa can be used to promote good governance. With their baby-out-with-the-bathwater condemnation of aid, the writers overlook places where aid is working and trivialize the positions of organizations that want to see smart aid programs implemented carefully and with full transparency and accountability from both donors and recipient countries.

I recently returned from a trip to Ghana and Ethiopia, where I saw firsthand how aid is delivering measurable and verifiable results while also promoting good governance - through lifesaving HIV/AIDS programs and efforts to generate private-sector growth through trade.

Donor aid is not the only answer to raising living standards in poor countries. Yet, when it is delivered effectively, it increases government accountability, trade and private investment. We should always challenge policymakers to rethink the best practices for foreign assistance. In the past, many aid programs were not held to rigorous standards. However, new assistance programs are proving that aid can be delivered in smart and effective ways that benefit the people of Africa.



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