Some villagers in Matobo District in southern Zimbabwe are not sure that “dead aid”, that is, continuously giving cash handouts to poor people, is the way to go.
A villager who spoke to The Herald acknowledged that food aid is needed in times of crisis but in the long run, poor people need capital goods for them to be economically empowered. Said the villager:
Cash aid is killing our people here in Matobo. Some people when they receive the US$50 from an NGO giving us cash as food aid, they spend it on beer.
Yes, we need food aid, but it must be spent wisely on food. The most important kind of aid is the one that empowers us to grow our own food and earn some income on our own.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have often stepped in when people are in great need, for example, to alleviate hardships caused by droughts or tropical cyclones.
However, observers consider the dishing out of cash to people without incentivising them to work for themselves will ultimately breed the “aid syndrome”.