Follow the money

Saw an interesting little table in New Internationalist October 2008. It answers the question of why, despite billions of dollars in aid, poor countries keep getting poorer. For example, although we talk about foreign aid so much, it’s actually not that much – while the North sends $84 billion a year to countries in the global South, it then takes back $456 billion a year in debt service alone. And $619bn is lost to illicit outflows.

South/North financial flows, average per year 2002-06 ($bn)

Inflow
Aid 84
Migrant remittances 167
Net foreign direct investment 226
New loans 380
Total 857

Outflow
Profit remittances 130
Debt service 456
Estimated illicit flows 619
Total 1,205

Net outflow $348bn

Source: Eurodad fact sheet 2007

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