Special coverage on aid and development in the Observer

Yesterday saw the Observer newspaper in the UK publish a number of great articles about aid and development where ONE’s work was mentioned. We wanted to share our success with you and urge you to get over to their website to check out the coverage for yourself.

The paper’s editor John Mulholland joined Bono and economist Jeffrey Sachs on a recent trip to Ghana. The resulting interview and article addresses the progress being made in countries like Ghana when smart aid is delivered. In the interview Jeff Sachs lays out the “dos and don’ts” of aid giving: “Aid works when it’s practical, when it’s focused, when it’s targeted, when it’s an investment, when it is part of a strategy; and aid does not work when it’s money handed over in an envelope to a friendly ally, especially in a war zone or when it’s a payoff for some other diplomatic support.” And praises the UK’s Department for International Development for their results-based approach to aid. This approach, is mentioned again by paper’s editorial which argues that progress is being made, although we have yet to perfect aid. “Some money is wasted, some is undoubtedly lost to corruption and some aid programmes do not deliver meaningful results. But these are not good enough reasons to abandon foreign aid, any more than the failures of the financial system are reasons to abandon capitalism. Reflect and correct, yes. Abandon, no.”

The article on the trip to Ghana (with the excellent quote “In 10 years Ghana may not need aid” as its headline) touches on the great work done by programmes such as the Global Fund, which ONE campaigners have supported for many years and (RED) continues to fund. The article announces that “By any measure Ghana is a success story”.

The last word is probably best left to Bono, who argues that:

“It’s impossible, I believe, to keep up the scam that brutal, ugly, dumb poverty is something we can live with. That’s a scam. You can’t live with it if you see it. We bring over tough US military guys and US senators to Africa. When they see it up close – you can’t live with it. The only way you can live with it is to lie to yourself and pretend it’s not what people say it is.”