Is aid helping the South Pacific?

The Solomon Islands is not alone in fail­ing to sur­vive as a mod­ern state. The prob­lem is endem­ic, if not quite as acute, through­out the Pacifc. Helen Hugh­es, whose cre­den­tials as an ana­lyst of devel­op­ment are sub­stan­tial, pro­vides a fas­ci­nat­ing and depress­ing overview of the impact of more than 100 bil­lion Aus­tralian Dol­lars of for­eign aid on the Pacif­ic since 1970.

” For most peo­ple, life is no bet­ter than it was 25 years ago. Redis­tri­b­u­tion has been from the poor to the rich. Small elites have appro­pri­at­ed the ben­e­fits of what lit­tle growth there has been.’ Women, work­ing in tra­di­tion­al gar­dens, have until now pre­vent­ed the emer­gence of hunger, but they bear the brunt of eco­nom­ic stag­na­tion. ’ The major­i­ty of girls in the Pacif­ic have only two to three years’ school­ing. Mater­nal death rates — reach­ing up to 370 per 100,000 live-births, com­pare with the worst per­form­ing African coun­tries. Women are the vic­tims of vio­lence and crime that have fol­lowed eco­nom­ic stag­na­tion.’ The Pacif­ic receives the high­est aid per capi­ta in the world, aver­ag­ing US$220 (A$370) per capi­ta and for some of the small­er islands exceed­ing US$3,000 (A$5,000 ) per capita. ”

The “full article(Link to Helen Huges’ Pacif­ic aid paper)”: is avail­able on the web and repays close reading.

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