Donors Must Reconsider Approach To Aid, Prioritize Poverty Reduction

Devex: Opinion: Aid isn’t going to the world’s poorest people. Why?
Sara Harcourt, senior policy director at the ONE Campaign

“The first thing apparent in the latest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee’s figures was that for the second year in a row, global aid levels have decreased. More worrying, however, is another emerging theme: Donors are prioritizing short-term political goals over long-term development and poverty reduction. Despite repeated commitments to reverse the trend in declining aid to the [least developed countries (LDCs)], aid flows to LDCs and countries in Africa have fallen … This is in spite of overwhelming evidence that these are the places with the greatest needs. … So what is the reason that aid is not going to where it is needed most? Several trends may explain this persistent challenge: 1. Aid staying in donor countries … 2. Aid being used to leverage private finance … 3. Aid in the national interest … To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, donors must reconsider their approach and commit to delivering aid in a way that prioritizes alleviating poverty. Political considerations will always be relevant, but aid must do the job it’s meant for, and donors must be transparent about their motivations…” (4/25).