Foreign aid is the main tool of state-led humanitarian efforts among wealthy members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). While such spending accounts for a mere drop in the bucket of the donating nations' budgets, the combined sum from governments around the world is enough to cause big problems in developing economies. In Fiscal Year 2013, OECD countries spent a total of $138 billion on foreign aid. From 1962 to 2012, they contributed a cumulative $3.98 trillion.
It was long believed that directing money to stagnant communities could jump-start economic growth. Yet numerous studies have found little evidence that foreign aid actually leads to greater economic development, writes Veronique de Rugy.