Le anomalie degli aiuti esteri

MUMBAI – L'enorme divario tra paesi ricchi e poveri del mondo rimane uno dei grandi dilemmi morali dell'Occidente e una delle sfide più difficili per l'economia dello sviluppo. Sappiamo veramente come aiutare un paese a uscire dalla povertà?

Nel suo nuovo libro The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality ('la grande fuga: sanità, ricchezza e le origini della disuguaglianza'), scritto in modo chiaro e ben documentato, Angus Deaton, docente dell'Università di Princeton, invita alla prudenza. Per chi fosse interessato ad approfondire il tema della povertà nel mondo, il suo è senza dubbio il testo più importante in materia di assistenza allo sviluppo scritto negli ultimi tempi.

Deaton suggerisce che troppo spesso gli aiuti occidentali servono a placare il senso di colpa dei paesi donatori, anziché migliorare la difficile situazione di quelli beneficiari. Questo vale in modo particolare nel caso in cui l'assistenza, offerta senza troppa cognizione di causa, serve a consolidare uno status quo disfunzionale. Pur sostenendo iniziative specifiche, in particolare quelle volte a trasmettere conoscenze mediche e tecnologiche, Deaton si chiede se la stragrande maggioranza degli aiuti superi la prova del nove sintetizzata dall'espressione di Ippocrate "primo non nuocere".

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