The role of public aid is to help shift the movement of an economy that is making headway—sometimes quickly—but not always in the right direction. In real terms, it involves reorienting existing funds in order to build a different, more ecological and more egalitarian world. This reorientation has a cost, like any public action. However, in the medium and long terms it provides significant benefits.
The world of 2030, towards which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are aiming, is being built with the investments of today. Each year, the world’s economies invest around 20 trillion dollars, and with this staggering amount give shape to the world of tomorrow. But is that the one we want? Is that the one described by the SDGs? Unfortunately no, or in any event not totally.
Development aid is also one aspect of a country’s international policy. In this respect, it is a reflection of how it perceives the world. For example, in the United Kingdom, the aim of development aid is to contribute to a prosperous and peaceful world, which is beneficial for a nation that acquires a great share of its wealth from international trade. In Germany, its position is more one of generosity and redistribution, for a nation with a flourishing economy. In France, the idea is rather to help regulate globalization, which is sometimes perceived as a source of dangers.
Development aid policies are often linked with a country’s Defense policy and Diplomacy: these are the “3Ds” of the country’s external action.