Official development finance plays a distinctive role in the structure of international capital flows. In addition to promoting growth in the Third World, it is motivated at least in part by a humanitarian desire to improve the well-being of the poor. When conveyed bilaterally, it often also reflects special political, economic, or cultural ties between the donor and particular recipient countries or groups of countries. However, official finance also responds to a complex of economic needs in the Third World that cannot be met adequately through the international private capital markets.