Donor Governments 'Backing Away' From Aid Commitments

Men load pallets of humanitarian supplies to a U.S. aircraft. Rich donor countries are planning to untie some aid commitments at the Fourth High-Level Forum in Busan, South Korea. Photo by: U.S. Army Africa / CC BY

Rich donor governments will be “untying” some aid commitments at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, according to a draft document seen by the Financial Times.

The draft indicates governments intend to back away from commitments to make overseas development assistance more transparent and instead use recipient countries’ systems to administer aid.

Publish What You Fund Managing Director Karin Christiansen said this endangers the credibility of development aid, especially at a time when governments are tight on spending.

“We’re in the realm of low ambition,” Christiansen said. “Just days before the meeting, some countries are still trying to shirk past commitments, buy time and create loopholes. This should have been a moment for donors to celebrate making their aid more effective, but on most issues they’re fighting to stand still.”

Campaigners and officials point to the United States as one of the donors most reluctant to make tighter commitments, the Financial Times reports. U.S. Agency for International Development Senior Development Counselor Dirk Dijkerman, however, said the “US has been an active proponent for improving the quality of aid.”

“Last year, the US provided more development and emergency assistance than any other country in the history of the world,” he said.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.