First published in 1965, this study of foreign aid has now become a recognised classic on the subject. When the author began his research, Nepal was receiving assistance from an extraordinarily large number of countries and organisations. Donor interest in Nepal in those initial years was driven mainly by the fact that the country occupied a strategic position as a frontline state against communist China. But, as the author found out, there were good reasons to doubt the widely accepted assumption that all underdeveloped countries are being swept by a ‘revolution of rising expectations’. He also reached the startling conclusion that on balance the impact of foreign aid has probably harmed rather than furthered Nepal’s long-range prospects for economic growth and political stability. This was due in large part to the equivocal nature of the aid projects themselves, which intended to contribute to the country’s economic development but were also designed to advance the political interests of the sponsors.
This edition includes an introductory essay by Sudhindra Sharma which gives a wide overview of foreign aid at work in Nepal over the past fifty years.