In the U.K., an ongoing review of projects funded by the Department for International Development have sparked debates within the country and beyond. British aid chief Andrew Mitchell said the government would hold full consultation before making final decisions on the future of any individual aid program under review. A leaked document indicates that the British coalition government intends to tie development projects to national security interests.
The U.S. and Europe, meanwhile, have yet to agree on how to increase the voting power of emerging nations in the International Monetary Fund. The U.S. is calling on Europe to yield some of the nine seats it occupies on the 24-member board of the Washington-based lender, which insists that flood-hit Pakistan should implement more energy and tax reforms.
The IMF’s fellow Bretton Woods institution, the World Bank, meanwhile, has defended its investments in carbon-cutting plants, dismissing allegations that some of these chemical plants are purposely increasing the production of greenhouse gas hydrofluorocarbon-23 to collect more carbon offsets that are worth millions of dollars.
Some non-governmental aid organizations, too, came under fire. In the U.S., protesters slammed the American Red Cross for having spent only a third of the USD465 million it has mobilized for Haiti quake relief. Speaking of funding: BBC’s Newsnight reports that British nonprofit organizations pay more to fundraising firms than what they raise from donors.
The United Nations, meanwhile, has formed a group of 10 notable international development experts, which is tasked with building political commitment and public awareness in support of the world’s 49 least developed countries in the run-up to a major international forum on least developed nations next year. New Zealand is reportedly redefining its aid strategy by adding humanitarian assistance and disaster response to its established role as provider of peacekeeping missions across the Pacific region.
Anders Nordstrom, Swedish ambassador for HIV/AIDS issues
Kevin Kelly, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s mission in Guatemala