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Does aid work?

Very little, argues one book; quite a lot, says another; a huge amount, contends a third. It all depends on the quality of both the donor and the recipient

By Ngaire Woods   May 2005

The World’s Banker by Sebastian Mallaby (Yale University Press, £19.95) The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs (Penguin, £7.99) Overcoming Stagnation in Aid-Dependent Countries by Nicolas van de Walle (CGD, $23.95)

After decades of scepticism about development aid, the west is embracing it again. In 2001, a roadmap to the UN’s ambitious millennium development goals was launched, with governments signing up to the targets of halving global poverty and reducing disease and illiteracy. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have just launched their Commission for Africa report, arguing for a doubling of aid for Africa over the next three…

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