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New EU aid plan risks handing billions to private companies at expense of the poorest, despite safeguards

Brussels, June 28 2017. Proposals to regulate a new multi-billion euro EU fund aimed at driving more private investment in development have just [June 28] been agreed by the European Parliament, Member States and the European Commission. But campaigners say although the proposed safeguards in the External Investment Plan are a step in the right direction, there is a risk that billions of euros of tax payers’ money will benefit big multinational corporations at the expense of the people in poverty ...

blog
Crunch time for the OECD’s new aid rules?

Polly Meeks

25 Apr 2017 10:12:03

Blink and you might miss it: but a seemingly low-key meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) officials this week could signal one of the biggest changes in decades to the way that donors think about aid.  That’s because tomorrow’s meeting [April 26] could be decision time on the rules governing ‘private sector instruments’ (PSIs). The proposed rule changes would allow donors to count more of their investment in, and other support to, private sector companies as aid, if those companies are doing business in developing countries, and if certain conditions are met.  Civil society, from both North and South, has been warning of risks in these proposed changes for months. To be clear: our concerns aren’t ...

press
Mixed progress on improving aid quality, but half of aid contracts still go back to rich country firms

Friday November 4 2016 RICH countries need to come clean about how much aid money they plan to use to subsidise their own companies. A ‘Progress Report’ published last night (November 3) by the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) states that nearly half of the aid money used to procure goods and services still goes back to suppliers in their own country – a practice known as ‘tied aid’. The practice continues even though Global Partnership figures ...

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International public finance flows: 8 principles for transparent reporting

Jesse Griffiths

08 Sep 2016 14:19:02

How much public money does your country send to other countries, and for what purposes? The short answer is: we don’t know. The only reliable figures are those for the aid provided to help developing countries, collected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and called official development assistance. Unfortunately, even these figures are confusing, as they include large amounts of money that never leave the donor country, such as administrative costs and and the costs of accommodating refugees. A better place to look than the headline-grabbing ODA figures is a less well-known measure, called country programmable aid which the OECD says is “a better estimate of the volume of [ODA] resources transferred to developing countries.” But what about other official flows ...
Read Eurodad's full statement to the OECD DAC High Level Meeting and press release on how the world's poorest should not pay for the security and defence of Europe. Today, Eurodad's director Jesse Griffiths spoke at the OECD Development Assistance ...
The ongoing discussion at the OECD DAC on whether the ODA concept should be modernised provides an opportunity to refine existing rules and ensure that they are fully focused on supporting the achievement of developmental goals. The current ambiguity ...

press
European Commission risks putting business profits before the needs of the world’s poorest

13 May 2014 Eurodad-Oxfam media reaction The European Commission’s new plan to boost the role of the private sector in development cooperation could put efforts to reduce poverty second to the interests of European companies, said leading NGOs Oxfam and the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) today.   In its new Communication, A Stronger Role of the Private Sector in Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries, the Commission promotes the adherence ...

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Did aid really rise in 2013? It’s too early to tell

Jesse Griffiths

24 Apr 2014 12:38:52

This month’s heartening news that aid levels bounced back from two years of decline to reach a record high of $134.8 billion hides the fact that donors remain way off target to meet their aid commitments, and there are worrying signs that the quality of this aid may be deteriorating.  As the chart below shows, Official Development Assistance (ODA) – the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC)’s measure of aid – rose in real terms. It now stands at 0.3% of the Gross National Income (GNI) of DAC member countries, up from 0.29% in 2012. (Caveat: not all high-income countries are DAC members, and south-south cooperation between developing countries is not included in this total, so the real figure will be higher.)   While this rise is heartening, it still leaves donors woefully ...

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Major new report on private finance urges post-2015 focus on quality not quantity

Jesse Griffiths

10 Apr 2014 16:25:02

The European Parliament has just released a major report with a clear message for all those engaged in the growing debate about the role of external private finance in development: quality matters far more than quantity. As the post-2015 debate on financing development continues, and the UN gears up for a major Financing for Development conference in 2015 or 2016, this timely paper – authored by four experts* - gives clear recommendations on how European governments can ensure that fighting poverty stays at the heart of this agenda.  The current picture Firstly, here are the main findings of the report’s review of all available data on global private finance flows:Domestic private investment is significant and growing. Public and private investment, taken together, have grown ...