The international aid industry is surely one of the world’s most successful lobbies. Its record after forty years of involvement in sub-Saharan Africa, funnelling a trillion dollars of assistance, is abysmal: the region is as impoverished today as it was at independence. Yet the worse the aid agencies’ performance, the more money they ask for – and get. This is chutzpah on a truly grand scale.
It is hardly surprising that every year this gravy train attracts some 100,000 expatriate ‘experts’, ranging from the well-meaning to the self-serving. Many of them have been recruited by the multi-tentacled United Nations. Others work for the official government development agencies, and the rest enlist in the thousands