Africa ‘let down’ by Busan aid agreement says ActionAid

Busana (S.Korea) Africa’s priorities were sidelined in a ‘global partnership’ launched Thursday at the fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, in Busan, says anti-poverty agency ActionAid.

In a press statement, donors did not agree a target for ending ‘tied aid’ – the practice where donor governments force countries to spend aid on their goods and services and also failed to agree a deadline to put aid through countries’ own systems. Women’s rights were also not prioritized.

Lucia Fry, Aid Policy Advisor at ActionAid said: “An eleventh hour effort brought China to the table but with serious strings attached. The new agreement is voluntary and non-binding for new donors and has ultimately sacrificed the interests of aid-dependent countries.”

Actionaid which operates in over 20 African countries, called for a global agreement on aid to put poor country governments in the driving seat of development. This is what ActionAid calls ‘Real Aid’.

Fry continued: “The impact of Busan on securing more ‘real aid’ is negligible and will disappoint all those who believe in using aid to end aid dependency. What happens in the next six months is crucial. If all parties involved can agree to monitor and report back on key issues like tied aid between now and 2015, something may at least be salvaged from this missed opportunity.”

Led by Rwanda, Africa’s position at the meeting included among others call for untied aid, reducing fragmentation among donors, overstepping country systems, Global monitoring Targets and issues of predictability as some donors don’t honor their aid commitments to recipient countries.

In the final outcome document approved by the leaders today it said: “Pursuant to the Accra Agenda for Action, we will accelerate our efforts to untie aid. We will, in 2012, review our plans to achieve this. In addition to increasing value for money, untying can present opportunities for local procurement, business development, employment and income generation in developing countries. We will improve the quality, consistency and transparency of reporting on the tying status of aid.”

Source: ActionAid Rwanda

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