No Shoes Please and No Debt Relief Either

Sending shoes to Haiti is how not to help.  Fortunately, with notable exceptions, this message is getting out. A lot of attention, however, is still being given to debt relief.  David Roodman at the Center for Global Development argues that this is merely a more sophisticated version of sending shoes.  Haiti's interest charges are on the order of $9 million a year.  Sure, holding off on the interest charges is a no-brainer, but the effort going into debt relief far exceeds the potential gains from simple aid not to mention immigration and trade relief.  Here, from Roodman, is his argument in a graph:

Haiti debt service, exports, aid, and remittances 2
Allocation of political effort for Haiti


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