Action Aid UK

Busan summit must not miss vital opportunity to end aid dependency

Press Release   •   Nov 30, 2011 08:27 GMT

The international community must seize the chance to put countries in the driving seat of their own development as the fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness opens in Busan, Korea.

ActionAid is calling for donors to agree to fund developing country government plans which directly benefit poor communities and enable citizens to hold their governments to account. This is what the charity calls ‘real aid’, as opposed to tied aid when donor governments run their own projects or force countries to spend aid on their goods and services.

Lucia Fry, aid policy advisor at ActionAid, said:

“Busan sees the international community at an important crossroads. African countries want more say in how aid is spent, but most donors don't appear willing to concede on this. A weak agreement at the Busan High Level Forum will see the world slide back into self-interested, ineffective aid which does not deliver real results for poor people. If the situation doesn't change it will be a huge missed opportunity to accelerate progress on ending aid dependency."

“The UK’s performance on aid effectiveness has been and remains strong. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell has clear priority issues for Busan focusing on improving aid results and transparency and meeting the needs of fragile states, but the UK must also push for a deal that would help the world’s poorest countries determine their own future.”

Currently just 55% of aid worldwide is 'real aid' according to ActionAid’s Real Aid 3 report released earlier this year. The report shows that some donors such as Ireland, the UK and Scandinavian countries are performing much better than others including the US, France and Germany.

At the Forum, which opens Tuesday, ActionAid is calling for specific timebound commitments on untying aid, putting funds through government systems and making aid transparent. It is also calling for ongoing monitoring of commitments from this and previous agreements at the global level up to 2015. This meeting is the 4th in a series of summits that have sought agreement on improving the quality of aid since 2002.