The Trouble with Aid” (2012)

Can aid really do more harm than good? “The Trouble with Aid” is a 2012 documentary that tells the story of the beginnings of humanitarianism as a mass movement, dedicated to the idealist goals of making the world a better place by providing aid to those in need. While developed and implemented with the best intentions, many aid operations prove to be more complex and tend to go awry. This film tells the full story of the complexities of what happened during some of the worst humanitarian crises of the last half century: from Biafra and Somalia to Ethiopia and Afghanistan, where the implementation of aid unintentionally worked to worsen or even escalate the disaster. The film interestingly points out that the mission to “do something” has become a rally cry of sorts for many humanitarian organizations, but can “doing something” cause more harm than good?


Ricardo Pollack

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