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Two New Studies Examine Multilateral, Bilateral Aid Initiatives

Two new studies examine the multilateral and bilateral foreign aid initiatives of countries and international organizations. IRIN looks at a report (.pdf) by New York University Economics Professor William Easterly and Claudia Williamson of the Development Research Institute that found Norway, Sweden, Finland and several U.N. agencies, including the World Food Program, UNFPA, and the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), “rank among the lowest out of 42 bilateral and multilateral donors measured for aid transparency,” while USAID and the U.K. Department for International Development (DfID) ranked the highest (5/20).

Inter Press Service examines a report released on Thursday in Brussels by the AidWatch initiative, under the umbrella of CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development, evaluating the European Union’s aid to developing nations in 2010 (Spence, 5/20). According to a CONCORD press release on the report, though only nine countries met their EU aid targets, the EU was the world’s largest aid donor in 2010, and EU “[a]id is becoming increasingly dictated by domestic political agendas and tied to security, immigration and commercial objectives” (5/19). The report also said the EU “missed its target of aid to developing countries by 15 billion euros [$21.3 billion] in 2010 and is on course fall well short of future goals,” according to IPS.

“But European officials defend their policies that have made the EU the largest donor entity, providing 58 percent more aid in 2010 than the United States (30.9 billion dollars), and more than half of all global donor assistance,” the news service writes (5/20). 

According to IRIN, donors are set to discuss aid transparency standards and challenges at the end of 2011 at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea (5/20).

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