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DAC Members Should Untie Development Aid To Maximize Impact Of ODA

Public Finance International: After new commitments on untying aid, now it’s time for action
Polly Meeks, senior policy and advocacy officer at Eurodad

“…Tied [official development assistance (ODA)] — ODA given on the condition that it be used to buy goods or services from companies in the donor country — puts the interests of a handful of firms in rich countries ahead of the priorities of people living in poverty. This comes at a heavy cost. … [T]ied ODA holds back the long-term development of communities in the global south, depriving crucial local supply chains of important investment, and missing the opportunity to redistribute procurement spending towards local people who are experiencing inequalities. … This is why the outcome of the [Development Assistance Committee’s (DAC)] recent negotiations is so important. At the end of October, DAC members agreed to expand the coverage of the DAC recommendation on untying beyond least-developed countries, to include other low-income countries and countries eligible to receive the most concessional financing from the World Bank. … Until DAC members take simple steps like these, many of the costs of tying will continue to be felt by people in poverty…” (11/9).