Sunday, October 29, 2006

Condoms, USAID and Jobs

NYTimes article: U.S. Jobs Shape Condoms’ Role in Foreign Aid

Britain, Ireland and Norway have all sought to make aid more cost effective by opening contracts in their programs to fight global poverty to international competition. The United States, meanwhile, continues to restrict bidding on billions of dollars worth of business to companies operating in America, and not just those that make condoms.

The wheat to feed the starving must be grown in United States and shipped to Africa, enriching agribusiness giants like Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill. The American consulting firms that carry out antipoverty programs abroad — dubbed beltway bandits by critics — do work that some advocates say local groups in developing countries could often manage at far less cost.


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