ActionAid today welcomed the government’s aid review, particularly the focus on improving the lives of women and girls as well as the emphasis on transparency and accountability in the way aid money is spent.
“The government’s decision to maintain the aid budget is to be applauded, particularly in these difficult times. Morally, it’s the right thing to do and we know that aid works. Poverty is going down in two thirds of developing countries,” said Richard Miller, Executive Director of ActionAid UK. “British people should be proud of their long tradition of supporting aid. Less than two pence in every pound of government spending is spent on helping lift people out of poverty.”
ActionAid says that the Department for International Development’s focus on value for money, need and effectiveness, putting women at the centre of its international aid policy, and prioritising countries that are farthest away from meeting their development goals is a pragmatic and welcome approach.
“But the devil will be in the detail, and we look forward to seeing more information about how DFID will spend aid money in its new priority countries. For example, it’s great to focus on results, as long as support for the intangible things like building a country’s tax system or anti-corruption institutions continues alongside schools and bednets. In the long run the intangibles may contribute as much or more to ending poverty,” said Miller.
ActionAid believes that Britain’s foreign aid should be targeted where it is needed most – at the world’s poorest communities – irrespective of a country’s low or middle income status.
"The focus on fragile states, while important, should not jeopardise money allocated to poor but stable countries, particularly in Africa. In addition, we welcome DFID’s brave decision to resist political pressure and maintain aid to middle income countries like India, where many of the world’s poor are located and endemic poverty is rife," said Miller.
photo : ©Mark Chilvers/ActionAid