World Vision Australia Effective Aid Helping Millions
Effective Aid Helping Millions
Each year aid saves the lives of millions of people and dramatically improves the lives of millions of others. Because of the huge
difference in income between rich and poor countries and the strong desire and capacity of poor communities to improve
their situation, investments in developing countries often achieve much more than in wealthy countries. What other area of
Australian Government expenditure provides such large benefits for so little money? Aid alone will not solve all problems, but
equally, aid has been a critical driver of many global successes by providing additional resources to low income countries and
countries in crisis and focusing on the poorest and most marginalised groups.
Overseas aid is complex and involves working in environments with many challenges that may include extremes of poverty and
injustice, weak government, corruption, powerful belief systems and inter-country politics. While the challenges are large, the
level of aid resources from donor governments is relatively low – just one-third of one percent of donor country income. Put
another way, global military expenditure was 13 times higher than all aid from wealthy countries in 20091 and even soft drink
sales each year are greater than total aid to poor countries. 2
Given the huge issues involved in overseas aid and the
relatively few resources available, you would expect that not
much is achieved by giving aid. However, the evidence tells
us that this is definitely not the case. Aid is one of the most
effective investments that donor countries can make.
This paper gives a bird’s eye view of the many aid successes.