It would fall outside the scope of this book to elaborate on the reasons for the large inequalities in terms of wealth and resources in the world of today. The organization of world production and world markets that developed with industrialization is one reason. Another is colonialism. In the world after 1945 which marked the beginning of decolonization it became more and more obvious that political independence for the former colonies did not mean economic independence; nor did it prove possible for the new rulers to establish stable democracies. Decolonization proceeded at great speed; and the cold war stalemate meant that east and west were competing for infl uence in the new independent states in the south. This was not a situation that worked in favor of carefully considered long-term strategies; and the early efforts of development assistance were not well coordinated. It was also a fact that in the fi rst decade after the war, the European countries were not in a position to grant assistance. The United States had the resources, and the Truman administration launched the Point 4 initiative, which provided signifi cant resources for development assistance.