Aid is not helping development in Tanzania

The country is one of the largest recipients of western aid, and yet poverty and unemployment remain rife, write two healthcare professionals

In response to Benny Dembitzer’s letter (20 July), we are currently working in Tanzania, one of the largest recipients of western aid in the world. We are doing research with the Hadza people, investigating the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in that population. In comparison to our observations from 2018, it appears that very little development has occurred in Tanzania. If anything, Tanzanians appear to be poorer and there appears to be more unemployed people now, which, given the challenges of Covid, is even more worrying. This highlights that the current aid model is not fit for purpose and western governments should rethink the way they support Tanzania and other countries urgently.

In the medical field, we are finding that progress has been halted, and probably reversed. One of the causes is that the rich world takes so many doctors, nurses and other health professionals from the developing world. Countries such as Tanzania have educated these professionals at their expense. We collect the ripe fruits.

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