Ineffectiveness of foreign aid

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Unproductive technical aid
Wastage of development aid
Counter-productive effects of foreign aid
Negative environmental effects of foreign aid
Inappropriate provision of foreign aid

In many aid-giving countries there is a persistent suspicion that aid objectives are ill-chosen and make little impact on economic and social conditions. In the countries which receive aid, there is also a good deal of dissatisfaction with the efficiency and honesty of the aid system; for example, when aid does not reach the purpose for which it was intended there is seldom an investigatory follow-up to determine accountability.


In 1994 it was reported that the US$3 billion aid from the USA to Russia and other countries of the former USSR was not reaching those who needed it. The report claimed that too many decisions were being made at the point of origin so that the distribution at the point of receipt was poorly adjusted to the opportunities and difficulties of the local contexts.

An used factory in Tanzania, completed in 1985 by the Belgian government under the foreign aid programme in Mbagala, near Dar es Salaam, has never been provided with water, electricity and road access. The factory was designed to produce glass windows in a country where most houses do not have windows. Another Belgian financed project, the Inga II hydroelectric power station in Zaire, has also never been used.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST