The Future of Development Aid

WASHINGTON, DC – Even skeptics admit it: effective aid works. In the last 25 years, the share of poor people in developing countries has been cut by half, and the last decade has witnessed impressive development successes in countries once thought beyond help.

Globally, the mortality rate for children under five has declined by a third, and sub-Saharan economies grew by up to 6% per year on average. With the exception of fragile and conflict-affected countries, today’s poor countries are very different from the poor countries of the past.

In the 1990’s, developing countries’ economies accounted for only one-fifth of global economic growth. Today, many of them are driving the global economy. Some estimate that by 2025, six major emerging-market economies – China, South Korea, Indonesia, Brazil, India, and Russia – will collectively account for more than half of all global growth.

There are also less well-known success stories. Consider Ethiopia, which, despite one of the worst global crises of our time, has been the fastest-growing non-resource-rich African country for seven consecutive years – averaging 11% annual GDP growth since 2003. And many poor countries have started to build effective institutions, control expenditure and manage their budgets, and provide more of the services that their citizens need.