Next month BBC Four will air The Trouble With Aid, a documentary exploring the history of emergency aid and the current challenges facing the fundraising and distribution of disaster relief.

Made by acclaimed film-maker Ricardo Pollack, The Trouble With Aid features exclusive interviews with former aid workers as they look back at their experiences providing disaster relief at some of the major humanitarian disasters over the past 50 years.

Richard Klein, Controller, BBC Four, said: “It is clear that through the years the aid industry has had a positive impact and saved millions of lives.  Whenever there is an international disaster, our natural instinct is to pour money into the problem. But in an increasingly complex world it is valid to ask if emergency aid is always as effective as it could be.

“This thoughtful film brings together some of the most influential figures in emergency aid – past and present – to explore what can – and sometimes does – go wrong in emergency aid.”

From the Biafran War to the Ethiopian famine and the relationship between aid and politics in Afghanistan, the film explores the moral and political dilemmas that aid workers faced as their attempts to help were often compromised or undermined.  Offering a rare glimpse at life on the ground in a disaster zone, The Trouble With Aid features interviews with former aid workers from Oxfam, MSF, Save the Children – among others – who address a common question: can emergency aid sometimes do more harm than good?

The Trouble With Aid will air on BBC Four from 9pm, Sunday 9 December.

Notes to Editors

The Trouble With Aid (1x120') was commissioned by Richard Klein, Controller, BBC Four and Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries.  It is executive produced by Jonathan Hewes for Wall to Wall, Clare Paterson is Commissioning Executive for the BBC.  It is directed by acclaimed film-maker Ricardo Pollack.