SOCIETY STUDIES
RIGHTS SOCIOECONOMICS POLITICS OF FOOD
GENDER
POVERTY AND AID
POLITICAL ECOLOGY
GEOPOLITICS

Poverty and Development
Despite the high prospects generated in the early
1990s, the past two decades have offered little hope to most poor countries whose populations increasingly find themselves in a complex web of poverty and deprivation. Poverty and inequality appear as resilient as ever and hundreds of millions across the world suffer the daily torment of deprivation in some form or another, be it the pain of persistent hunger and disease, the absence of adequate health care or the blatant disregard of basic human rights. Almost half the world — over 3 billion people — live on less than US$2.50 a day. The gross domestic product (GDP) of the 41 heavily indebted poor countries (600 million people) have less wealth than the world’s seven richest people combined. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st Century unable to read a book or sign their names. Less than one percent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000, yet it didn’t happen. One billion children live in poverty, that is, one in two children worldwide. 1.6 billion live without access to modern energy, one quarter of all the children on the planet suffer from malnutrition and one in six have no supply of clean water. The Centre’s poverty research explores how lives of the poor are characterised by the lack of capabilities and entitlements to food, health, education, land, natural resources, security and political influence. We are also interested in comparative studies of disparities across countries and regions in terms of income poverty, vulnerability and well-being and issues related to natural resource use and management, ethics, governance, human rights and foreign aid. This research extends to include studies of policy formulation and implementation which may shed light on why certain poverty reduction strategies succeed in certain contexts and not in others.

Aid
Foreign aid, or development assistance, is often
regarded as being too much or wasted on corrupt recipient governments despite any good intentions from donor countries. In reality, both the quantity and quality of aid have been poor and donor countries have not been held to account. There are numerous forms of aid, including: bilateral, multilateral and tied. These forms of aid complement humanitarian emergency assistance, food aid, project development and military assistance. Development aid has long been recognised as crucial to help poor developing countries grow out of poverty. Foreign aid, historically, dates back to the 1960s when the first United Nations Development Decade was declared. In 1970, the world’s rich countries agreed to give 0.7 % of their GDP as official international development aid, annually. Since that time, despite billions given each year, rich countries have rarely met their actual promised quotas. As an example, the United States is often the largest donor in dollar terms, but ranks amongst the lowest in terms of meeting the stated 0.7 % quota. Moreover, effective development aid needs as much investment in relationships as in does in financial support. In many of the poorest countries continued debates about the need continues, including: policy coherence, problems of corruption, criticism of United Nations bureaucracy and the established neoliberalist institutions of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Monetary Fund. The Centre undertakes critical research, from different disciplinary perspectives, on the challenges that aid faces: both for donors and recipients. In 2012, the OECD countries noted an almost 3 % decline in aid over 2010’s aid, the first decline in a long time. Although this decline was expected at some point because of the financial problems in most wealthier countries, those same problems ripple onto the poorest countries, so a drop in aid, is very significant. During recent years, some developing countries have been advancing (e.g. China, India, Brazil, etc.) and economic arguments for not giving foreign aid have been again put to the test. Some arguments against foreign aid include:
   ▪ it does not promote faster growth but may in fact hold it back by substituting for domestic savings and
     investment;
   ▪ it is generally focused on the growth of the modern sector, thereby increasing the gap in living standards
     between the rich and the poor in recipient countries;
   ▪ if the aid given is concerned with unproductive fields or obsolete technology, it will have the effect of
     increasing the inflation in the country; and
   ▪ it is often donor countries that impose or make interference in the economic and political activities of the
     recipient country.
Note, the United States' foreign aid is divided into two broad categories: military aid and economic assistance. Other large sums are given to non-government organisations, agencies and individuals in other countries through American foundations, churches and other organisations. At the Centre, we research poverty and development very closely and weight in both the positive and negative aspects of aid.
RESEARCH
SUSTAINABILITY
HUMAN GEOGRAPHY ENVIRONMENT
INTERDISCIPLINARY SOCIETAL STUDIES
     SOCIETY STUDIES
     RIGHTS
     SOCIOECONOMICS
     POLITICS OF FOOD
     GENDER
     POVERTY AND AID
     POLITICAL ECOLOGY
     GEOPOLITICS
INSTITUTIONAL COLLABORATION

















PERCENTAGE OF POPULATION LIVING ON LESS THAN US$1.25 PER DAY. UNITED NATIONS ESTIMATES 2000-2007




NET OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE FROM DAC AND OTHER OECD MEMBERS, 2011
[PDF FILE]



COUNTRIES SCALED TO THE FOREIGN MILITARY AID RECEIVED FROM THE UNITED STATES, 2014



 COUNTRIES SCALED TO THE ECONOMIC AID RECEIVED FROM THE UNITED STATES, 2014



DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE (DAC) COUNTRIES AID, 2013-2014