Writing for the Wall Street Journal, former Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank Curtis S. Chin argues that whilst Nepal clearly needs vital help, following the April 25 earthquake and May 12 aftershock, “Well-intentioned assistance by donor nations and international aid organisations may make things worse in the long run if they discourage entrepreneurship and self-reliance.”
Curtis outlines three areas where the international community can ensure its response to this latest natural disaster does not undermine Nepal’s struggling private sector and its long-term success:
- Aid delivery must recognise and leverage the innate resilience of the people of Nepal.
- Aid providers and policy makers must be cognisant of the unintended side effects on Nepal’s economy and society of any extended provision of free, imported humanitarian goods and services.
- Most critically, those who seek to assist Nepal, including the country’s own leaders, must create a more conducive environment for business growth and private-sector investment.
Curtis believes that whilst international assistance is appreciated, the “development track record makes clear that even the most well-intended aid programs alone can’t solve Nepal’s enduring problems.”
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