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Should rich countries stop sending development aid to India? No

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 10 January 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f73
  1. Nisha Agrawal, chief executive officer of Oxfam India, 2nd Floor, 1, Community Centre, New Friends Colony, New Delhi 110 025, India

The UK has announced that by 2015 it will stop sending aid worth some £200m a year to India. Jayati Ghosh (doi:10.1136/bmj.f78) says foreign aid is not key to development, but Nisha Agrawal says that aid can help the half a billion people in India who live on less than $1.25 a day

The UK’s recent decision to end aid to India from 2015 seems to have been taken after a media debate that generated more heat than light. India, the British public were told, is a powerhouse that has moved up the international economic league achieving middle income status. It could and should do more to tackle its own poverty, and it doesn’t need outside help.1

But when you look beneath the headlines about India’s space programme and burgeoning economy, you find a country that is home to a third of the world’s poor people and that cannot afford to eliminate domestic poverty.

There are more than 400 million people in India living below the global extreme poverty line of $1.25 (69 rupees, £0.77; €0.95) a day—more than the combined total populations of the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.2 …

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