The U.S. Agency for International Development intends to partner with more local organizations and reduce its reliance on large-scale, indefinite contracts. A USAID presentation given in July noted that the agency will increase the number of its fixed-price contracts as well as stand-alone grants and contracts awarded by its operating units.
The U.S. said it has paid its dues to the United Nations “in full and on time,” according to the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice. U.S. arrears account for a quarter of this year’s arrears to the U.N. at USD4.1 billion.
The U.K., meanwhile, has unveiled a new national security strategy that recognizes the contribution of British development projects in dealing with threats of instability. The British government is cutting its demining programs in Angola, Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia and Sri Lanka, according to leaked government documents cited by the Independent. Canada, in turn, has dropped Kenya from its list of priority aid-recipient nations, according to David Collins, Canada’s newly appointed envoy to the African country.
Meantime, Australia announced it will phase out more than a third of adviser positions in its aid scheme for Papua New Guinea within two years. Over in Sweden, the government said it will make information about its aid programs readily available as the European nation scales up its development aid by some 3.7 billion Swedish kronor (USD554 million) in 2011.
Donors are insisting that Pakistan observe transparent use of post-flood aid. The 26-member Friends of Democratic Pakistan has urged the nation to carry out tax reforms and mobilize more domestic resources for reconstruction and long-term development in exchange for post-flood aid.
Still in Asia, the Korea International Cooperation Agency plans to implement its largest water projects to date in Mongolia, Azerbaijan and the Philippines, while the Korean National Red Cross is being criticized for its sluggish spending of some 9.7 billion won (USD8.7 million) that it has mobilized for Haitian earthquake victims.
Ben Knapen – state secretary of foreign affairs of the Netherlands