Don’t punish a country’s progress

Marketplace Staff May 18, 2007


LISA NAPOLI: Tackling the trouble with aid to developing nations. Rich countries usually turn off the spiget of aid once a poor country shows some progress. Tomorrow at the Dead Sea, four presidents, two prime ministers and a king will be among the 11 members of an exclusive club needing to address this problem. From Amman, Jordan, Orly Halpern reports.

ORLY HALPERN: The so-called G-11 group was launched by Jordanian King Abdullah II last September. This club of lower-middle income countries is troubled by rising oil prices, large debts and decreasing foreign aid packages.

Farouk Kasrawi is a special advisor to the Jordanian king and the coordinator of the G-11.

FAROUK KASRAWI: There is a notion that the more you are successful, the less aid you will get. And we don’t want this to be a punishment for countries who are doing very well.

The G-11 hopes that industrialized countries will forgive some of their debts and promote foreign investment. Kasrawi says this will benefit everyone.

KASRAWI: If we become middle-income countries, this is good for international coexistence, it is good for trade, it is good for economic relations.

The G-11 plan is contingent on the cooperation of donor countries. Germany and Japan are already showing interest. They will have observers at tomorrow’s summit.

In Amman, I’m Orly Halpern for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.