Monday, April 26, 2010

OXFAM says fix aid then commit more money

To coincide with the G-8 financial ministers meeting in Canada, OXFAM is saying that international aid needs fixing and more money.

The development ministers of the G-8 nations are meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia to set the agenda for when the heads of those states meet later this year. As chair of the G-8 this year, Canada wants to push aid development onto the forefront of the agenda, so OXFAM's report gives some suggestions.

OXFAM is now agreeing with those that say that international aid is broken, wasteful and need of repair. However, the charity does not agree with those who think we should get rid of it entirely. OXFAM is urging the G-8 to not only tackle the waste but then to commit more money to aid

From this Canwest News Service article that we found at, writer Richard Foot tells us more about the statement from OXFAM.

Oxfam, an independent aid agency with decades of experience in the world's poorest regions, says rich governments need to drastically increase funding to maternal health care and numerous other social and economic aid projects.

In 1970, developed countries agreed through the United Nations to spend 0.7 per cent of their gross national income on foreign aid. Oxfam says that since 2008 only Denmark, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway and Sweden have met that goal, and that the global shortfall in aid commitments now amounts to roughly $3 trillion U.S..

Canada spends 0.33 per cent of its gross national income on foreign aid, mostly in Afghanistan, our largest aid recipient.

While calling for such spending to rise, Oxfam also acknowledges what a growing chorus of critics are saying: that foreign aid efforts are often beset by waste, corruption and outright failure.

"Clearly it is impossible to argue that no aid is wasted," says the report, 21st Century Aid: Recognizing Success and Tackling Failure.

"Aid is touched by corruption . . . (and) aid dependency is an issue that needs attention."

Oxfam agrees that too much aid spending is determined by the wishes of donors, rather than the needs of recipients.

It says aid efforts also fail when development spending is coupled with military goals — such as in Afghanistan — or handed over without accountability to corrupt governments, or misspent on third-party consultants rather than actual projects on the ground.

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