China has emerged as one of the most important foreign aid providers in recent years, rivalling traditional Western donors in terms of spending and impact, according to a recent study.
But out of the more than US$350 billion (S$475 billion) committed over the period from 2000 to 2014, only about a quarter of the amount or 23 per cent had a strong impact on economic growth for the recipient countries, the US-based research lab AidData said yesterday.
“This new window into China’s overseas development programme is particularly important given the possibility of US retrenchment in both the aid and diplomatic spheres, and the challenges European donors have had meeting foreign aid spending targets,” said Ms Samantha Custer, director of AidData’s policy analysis unit.
“If the United States follows through on its rhetoric and scales back its global footprint, China may be well-positioned to step into the breach and cement its role as a …