Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Study: Aid not reaching poor

World Bank report says better-off usually benefit the most
MUMBAI, India: Overwhelming evidence shows that most health programs don't reach the world's poorest people, a World Bank official said Wednesday.
A study by the bank found that donors often believed that simply by spending aid money in low-income countries the poor would benefit, said Davidson Gwatkin, who advises the bank on health and poverty issues.
But the reality was that aid efforts targeted at entire societies usually only ended up benefiting the better-off, not the poor, he told delegates at an international conference in Bombay on health problems in the developing world. The conference was organized by the Global Forum for Health Research, a Geneva-based organization.
"In many universal programs, the gaps are huge and it's the poor who cannot access the basket of services," Gwatkin said the study found.
The study, "Reaching the Poor," was done by the World Bank in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Dutch and Swedish governments. Gwatkin discussed its general findings Wednesday and said the completed report will be released next month in Washington.
"There is overwhelming evidence that we're not doing as well as we should have or as we thought we were," he said.


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