Fifteen leading economists, including three Nobel winners, argue that the many billions of dollars spent on aid can do little to alleviate poverty while we fail to tackle its root causes

Development efforts over the past few decades have not been as effective as promised.

Global poverty remains intractable: more than 4 billion people live on less than the equivalent of $5 (£3.80) a day, and the number of people going hungry has been rising. Important gains have been made in some areas, but many of the objectives set by the millennium development goals – to be reached by 2015 – remain unfulfilled. And this despite hundreds of billions of dollars of aid.

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