NPR

The Lies We Tell About Foreign Aid

In his new book, Pablo Yanguas argues that fudged numbers, shallow aid projects and politics have created a dysfunctional aid system.
This 2013 photo of schoolgirls in Haiti shows the slow progress in recovering from the 2010 earthquake. Source: David Gilkey

Politicians lie about foreign aid to win votes.

Charities lie about the impact of foreign aid to stay funded.

Aid workers lie to themselves about the impact of a project.

In a new book called Why We Lie About Aid: Development And The Messy Politics Of Change, Pablo Yanguas explains how these mischaracterizations have created a dysfunctional aid system that hurts the people who need help most.

We spoke to Yanguas, a research fellow with the at the University of Manchester, about his book. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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