OECD DAC Chair Says Wealthy Countries Becoming ‘Risk Averse’ In Aid Spending

“Aid to the poorest countries is dropping because donors are becoming more ‘risk averse,’ according to a senior official from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),” The Guardian reports, noting that “OECD figures last week showed that official development assistance (ODA) from rich countries fell by four percent in real terms last year, following a dip in 2011.” The newspaper adds, “One of the more striking aspects was a shift in aid away from the poorest countries and towards middle-income countries. … The drop in aid to the poorest countries came despite the rhetoric of ‘finishing the job’ with fewer than 1,000 days left until the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015.” The newspaper highlights an interview with Erik Solheim, chair of the OECD’s development assistance committee (DAC). “After the global economic crisis donors are becoming more risk averse. … They are being afraid of being criticized back home,” Solheim said, The Guardian notes. He “pointed out … investing in more stable middle-income countries comes with less uncertainty,” according to the newspaper (4/8).