Saturday, June 27, 2009

Aid 101

A bit of unsolicited advice to any budding aid professionals out there: when it comes to efforts aimed at reducing the suffering associated with true poverty, never assume the goal is to actually reduce the suffering associated with true poverty:

Efforts to make newer and more costly vaccines widely available to the poorest in Africa are being hampered by a long-standing system that makes vaccines affordable to middle-income Latin American countries.

The revolving fund, which began in 1979, negotiates substantial discounts with manufacturers on prices in richer countries, offering in exchange significant volumes, predictable demand and funding.

However, it includes a clause demanding that the vaccines are made available at the "lowest possible price" charged anywhere in the world, making it impossible for producers to propose still lower prices to poorer countries.
No doubt that meetings will be held and powerpoints will be delivered....