Donor Cooperation Key To Success In International Development

Project Syndicate: New Paths for Leadership in International Development
Mark Suzman, chief strategy officer and president of global policy and advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“Official development assistance (ODA) helps to save lives, build more stable and safer societies, and project soft power around the world. … Beyond Europe, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar are also among the world’s largest significant ODA donors — a reality of which not many people are aware. … Aid cannot solve all the problems facing Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa. But it can support the emergence of more stable, more prosperous, and healthier societies that are less vulnerable to civil war or terrorism. The Gates Foundation believes that donors from the Muslim world, in particular, have an integral role to play in addressing poverty and instability. Far more can be achieved together — by combining resources and sharing expertise — than separately. … Observers often point to the soft-power benefits of providing aid to developing countries. But they often fail to notice the advantages brought about by strengthening relationships among donor countries that work together to advance international development. Donor countries would do well to embrace this reality and seize opportunities to build ties with new global partners that share their commitment to fighting poverty” (5/31).