Foreign Aid in South Asia examines the individual South Asian country experience in dealing with foreign aid. The articles in this book show that the effectiveness of foreign aid as a developmental tool over the last few decades has been mixed, and that the Paris Declaration of 2005 has brought about some improvement in aid ownership, harmonization, mainstreaming, utilization, etc. The book examines how emerging as well as less developed South Asian economies are adapting to these developments in the context of security issues, post-conflict rehabilitation/reconstruction, and so on.
The book provides many lessons for designing an international framework for aid or international aid architecture through case studies, highlighting the future policy priorities for that country. For the very first time, focus is laid on Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan—the three least-documented countries in the region—besides discussing about India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Bhutan is a landlocked country in the eastern Himalayas, bordering China to the north and India to the east, south and west. Bhutan has a geographical area of 38,394 km2 and a population of 634,982 (Royal Government of Bhutan, 2005).
Over the last five decades, since planned development started in 1961, Bhutan has made impressive socio-economic development progress. The high levels of investment in the social sector, averaging more than 20 per cent of the annual budget, thereby exceeding the global 20:20 compact agreed on at the World Summit for Social Development in 1995, has brought about significant improvements in the social conditions of the people, as reflected in the Table 10.1.
Table 10.1 Selected Social Indicators
In terms of economic performance, the Gross Domestic Product ...