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Duration: 2 hours

45 years ago a group of young men and women set out to make the world a better place. They wanted to bring aid to those in dire need. These idealists would help create a new mass movement - humanitarianism. Its core belief is a simple one - that it is our duty to help those in desperate need, wherever they are. But trying to do good in the world's worst conflict zones is filled with danger and compromise.

The Trouble with Aid tells the story of what really happened during the major humanitarian disasters of the last 50 years: from the Biafran War, through to the Ethiopian famine and Live Aid, to the military intervention in Somalia and to present-day Afghanistan. Despite the best intentions, aid can have some unintended and terrible consequences.

Using the testimony of key players from the world's largest aid agencies, the film looks at what happens when good people try to help in a bad world.

Today, any humanitarian crisis leads to cries that we must 'do something'. The Trouble with Aid challenges this fundamental assumption by asking the question few us are prepared to face: can aid sometimes do more harm than good?

Last on

Sun 9 Dec 2012 21:00 BBC Four


Ricardo Pollack
Ricardo Pollack
Executive Producer
Jonathan Hewes


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