From child soldiers in Sudan to gang violence in Papua New Guinea; tsunamis in the Pacific to earthquakes in New Zealand, we’re confronted with communities in need every day. Who should we help? How can we be sure our aid dollars reach their destination?
Some believe that aid traps communities in a cycle of dependence, holding them back from developing their own systems and managing their own issues. So on balance, do those dollars hurt more than they help?
And with endemic poverty in Australia’s indigenous communities and natural disaster breaking Queensland’s budget – should we ‘take care of our own’ first?
Arguing that the aid dollar is a waste of money is Greg Sheridan, the Australian’s foreign editor; James Goodman, Associate Professor at UTS’ Social and Political Change group and Tim Wilson, currently director of the Intellectual and Free Trade Unit at the Institute of Public Affairs.
And on the opposing team, arguing that aid is anything but a waste, is Samah Hadid, a human rights activist; Andrew Hewett, Executive Director of Oxfam Australia and Martin Thomas of World Vision, Australia.
Simon Longstaff, from the St James Ethics Centre, acts as moderator.