As Eritrea works diligently towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) it is important to look not just at how close she is reaching the goal, but also its progress relative to its neighbors (given the assumption that its neighbors share similar struggles). In this particular case we will be looking at the under 5 Mortality rate (part of goal 41 ) for the countries in the Horn of Africa, including Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan.
According to the MDG Goal 4, Eritrea must reduce the number of deaths / 1,000 live births to 49. Although Eritrea is on track to meet this goal it is important recognize that although initial progress strong, prior to Ethiopia’s invasion, it has slowed slightly. It would seem that as regards its neighbors Eritrea is alone in being on track, with only Ethiopia being nearly as close (owing to its initially much lower status). What is interesting to not about the graph though is that it would seem that Sudan, although being by far the most flush with new money, has made the least progress towards this particular goal.
This of course could be due to the fact that the Government of Sudan (all inclusively) must deal with a multitude of internal refugee crises, conflicts and of course desertification. It is curious to note however, that Somalia has made faster progress towards this goal than Sudan. So from the example of Ethiopia and Sudan we can tell that progress to these two goals can be independent of aid and GDP growth.
Of course these are not the only goals of the MDGs, however, it does show that aid is not a requirement meet these goals. What is necessary it would seem is the impetus and the drive to perform for one’s own population. To that end, aid may in fact be a disincentive to perform as the patron of the governing force becomes the aid giving entity. The goal of this entity will of course be to continue while the population at large will have the goal to develop beyond this case (for more reading on this please refer to: The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity ).2