Tags: Summers | aid | Europe | Ukraine

Summers: US Should Provide Reasonably Sized Aid Package for Ukraine

By    |   Tuesday, 11 March 2014 11:26 AM

Foreign economic support is important for Ukraine, but the United States and its European allies should be realistic about what they can provide quickly, says former White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers.

The United States and Europe should "avoid 'Potemkin money' — the tendency to announce huge assistance packages that grab the headlines but belie the inevitable truth that much of the cash will take time to arrive," he writes in the Financial Times.

"The result is disappointment followed by disillusionment as recipients realize that not all assistance can materialize quickly or meet urgent local needs."

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Aid to fledgling nations' economies has frequently been compared to the Marshall Plan through the years, though few have matched it in effectiveness, notes Summers, now a Harvard professor.

"It bears emphasis that the original Marshall Plan was announced without any figures or fact sheets," he explains. "In Ukraine the west should make modest promises —and then strive to deliver more than the country has been led to expect."

It's also important that aid from the United States and Europe has an immediate impact, Summers says. "New governments will not last unless they deliver results that are felt on the ground."

Meanwhile, Brett House, a senior fellow at The Centre for International Governance Innovation in Canada, says Western governments are thinking too small in their aid packages for Ukraine.

"The United States and the European Union both announced aid packages for Ukraine last week," he writes in an article for Quartz.

"But with the new government in Kiev struggling to clean house after the corrupt rule of Viktor Yanukovych and face down a belligerent Russia, the aid packages are too small and will disburse too slowly to provide the immediate help it needs."

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Foreign economic support is important for Ukraine, but the United States and its European allies should be realistic about what they can provide quickly, says former White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers.
Summers,aid,Europe,Ukraine
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2014-26-11
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 11:26 AM
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