In 2008, $26.8 billion in Official Development Aid and $37 billion philanthropic dollars went to the developing world. The enormous inflows of aid that have flooded the developing world have done little in terms of creating any lasting economic growth. Yet, this type of aid was never intended to actually foster markets for growth, and in the past the West has been mistaken in approaching sub-Saharan Africa's development in this manner. However, these dollar outflows from governments, philanthropists, and individuals are not entirely void of worth. Instead of misplacing these dollars in development efforts, they should be leveraged where they are the most valuable—in relief initiatives.
Relief is broadly defined as providing temporary assistance to those who are suffering right now from the effects of natural disasters, war, hunger drought, and disease. The greatest successes of donor capital are seen in these types of efforts.
Every year the Hudson Institute produces an Index on Global Philanthropy and Remittances that details the massive outflows to the developing world. Recognizing the potential in these numbers Liberia has been a leader in maximizing aid dollars for high impact relief through the Liberian Philanthropy Secretariat. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Indiana-Africa Connections Project displays the nature of private dollar outflows.