Financial or other assistance given or lent, on favourable terms, by richer, usually industrialized, countries to war-damaged or developing states. It may be given for political, commercial, or humanitarian reasons, or a combination of all three. A distinction may be made between short-term aid (usually food and medicine), which is given to relieve conditions in emergencies such as famine, and long-term aid, or development aid, which is intended to promote economic activity and improve the quality of life – for example, by funding irrigation, education, and communications programmes. In 1970, all industrialized United Nations (UN) member countries committed to a goal of giving at least 0.7% of their gross national product (GNP) in aid. On a global level, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are the two biggest aid dispensers.
In the UK, the Department for International Development (DFID) is responsible for the promotion of overseas development and the reduction of poverty. The department superseded the Overseas Development Administration in 1997.
In 1996, the IMF and World Bank launched the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative to provide debt relief for low-income member countries. This was revised in 1999 and supplemented in 2005 by the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).
Aid and Development
Meaning of global citizenship
Aid from developed countries to poorer areas
Causes and consequences of poverty
Role of charities and how to be involved
Aid for LEDCs
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)
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International aid, or official development assistance (ODA), comprises a wide range of financial and nonfinancial components. These may take the...