4.1 Give a comprehensive definition of the term “aid”
Dependence in education
Aid from the French word aide, also known as international aid, overseas aid, or foreign aid, is a voluntary transfer of resources from one country to another, given at least partly with the objective of benefiting the recipient country. It may have other functions as well such as a signal of diplomatic approval, or to strengthen a military ally, to reward a government for behaviour desired by the donor, to extend the donor’s cultural influence, to provide infrastructure needed by the donor for resource extraction from the recipient country, or to gain other kinds of commercial access. Carol Lancaster, in her book Foreign Aid (2007) defines foreign aid as a voluntary transfer of public resources, from a government to another independent government, to an NGO, or to an international organization such as the World Bank or the UN Development Program with at least a 25 percent grant element, with the aim of improving the human condition in the country receiving the aid. In addition, The Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development defines aid as consisting of flows to developing countries and multilateral institutions provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective, and it is concessional in character and contains a grant element of at least 25 %.In her widely acclaimed book, DEAD AID, Dasmbisa Moyo has identified three types of foreign aid.They are Humantarian aid or emergency aid. This is given in reponse to catastrophes and calamities. Secondly Charity based aid. This is usually given by charitable organizations to institutions or people on the ground.Thirdly, Systematic aid. These are aid payments made directly to government either through government-to-government transfers. In this respect it is termed as bilateral aid. This aid may also be transferred via institutions such as the World Bank. In this respect it is termed as multilateral aid.
In this chapter we are concerned with bilateral and multilateral aid rather than the humanitarian and emergency aid. There, however two related concepts to aid that also need to be pointed out.These are loans and grants. Cash transfers from the rich countries to African countries have tended to be inform of concessional loans. This is money lent at below market interest rates. Grants on the other hand are money, which has been given for nothing in return, or interest. There has been a tendency for most countries to prefer grants to loans.The view here is that loans are expensive in comparison to grants and that they are likely to turn a country indebted. In the context of the background, Moyo defines aid as the sum total of both concessional loans and grants.