de Montesson, Nicolas Collin dit
January 2014
Journal of Public & International Affairs;2014, Issue 1, p123
Academic Journal
Over 50 percent of the 3.1 billion people living on less than two dollars per day live in middle-income countries, and yet these countries have difficulty accessing international aid. The existing literature on the importance of institutions in aid effectiveness constitutes one argument in favor of a greater allocation of aid to middle-income countries, while specifically targeting the poor population. Nonetheless, this argument raises an ethical question: Should the efficacy of aid drive its allocation? There are two aspects in tension; since an individual living in poverty cannot choose to belong to country X or Y, he or she should be given equal priority and should not be discriminated based on something he or she cannot control (the quality of the institutions). However, the donor has the responsibility (vis-à-vis tax-payers or private donors) to optimize the use of resources and reach a maximum number of people. The author argues that the allocation of aid should and could satisfy both principles by giving the same priority to the poor populations living in low- and middle-income countries. The central argument is that aid allocation should be decentralized and target specific sub-national units within middle-incomeThe effectiveness of aid would, on the whole, increase since a larger proportion of funds would be directed to countries with stronger institutions. countries, taking into account the local level of development.


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