The “International Left” and Zambian Debt

4 August 2004

Foreign aid accounts for 38% of Malawi’s annual budget. (The Times, 23 July 2004)
Foreign aid accounts for 43% of Zambia’s annual budget. (The Economist)

Foreign aid mainly comes from wealthy capitalist countries and their institutions.

Some of the aid comes as grants and some in highly concessional loans (say, 1% or 2% interest, repayable over 30 to 40 years: in reality probably never repaid). Some of it is used for debt servicing. We should give much more, but we are giving quite a lot.

By the selective reporting of some of these facts the anti-capitalist International Left has persuaded many – including some Catholic organizations – that extreme poverty in Africa is due to rich, greedy, uncaring capitalists taking money from starving Africans.

This is a formidable feat of propaganda and misinformation.