So, in all the bailout and emergency aid money that have been proposed since the crisis began, how much of that got to the poorest people of the world? According to a couple of aid organizations, not much at all.
From the IPS, writer Francis Kokutse interviews people at Action Aid and CONCORD on bailouts and aid.
The developed world has not acted in good faith towards with Africa and other developing regions in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Much of the stimulus packages promised have gone to benefit banks in those countries, rather than to help those who have become victims of a problem they did not cause, argued Josef Berger, policy officer at CONCORD, the European Non-governmental (NGO) Confederation for Relief Aid and Development.
IPS interviewed him in Stockholm on the fringe of the European Development Days conference (Oct 22-24), an event held by the European Union Presidency and Commission to "showcase the European Union’s continuing and enduring commitment to development".
Berger pointed out that when the global financial crisis erupted, leaders in the West promised significant assistance. Unfortunately, "these promises are yet to be rolled out. The response has so far not been helpful.
"What we have seen, in general, is the provision of huge sums of money to bail out banks in their respective countries, rather than protect countries that have been made to suffer because of what these banks have done," he added. CONCORD represents more than 1,600 developmental NGOs across Europe and seeks to enhance their influence vis-a-vis European institutions.
Berger believes that civil society organisations in the developing world need to be strengthened to hold their governments accountable so that they would be able to speak out on behalf of their citizenries on issues like this.
Otive Igbuzor, ActionAid’s head of campaigns, told the plenary during the session on the global response to the economic downturn that whilst Group of 20 (G20) countries "were stuttering back to life, millions of people in the developing world are sinking deeper into poverty, reeling from a global crisis they did not cause." ActionAid is a progressive international non-governmental organisation fighting poverty.