strategy

Increasing aid to developing countries

Synonyms:
Increasing development assistance
Increasing overall amount of aid
Increasing foreign aid
Offering adequate development aid
Providing sufficient development aid
Providing increased foreign aid
Improving level of foreign aid
Increasing aid programmes of developed countries
Context:
It is widely agreed that a substantial increase over current levels of aid is required to promote sustainable societies in lower-income countries. This could be achieved by creating a new motivation for aid.

According to the OECD (2002), donor assistance for environmental protection and basic social services had declined to less than 15% of all aid compared with 35% at the time of the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.

Implementation:
Official development assistance is almost US$50,000 million a year from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries (0.35% of their gross national product (GNP)) and over $3,000 million from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries (0.79% of their GNP). The agreed target of 0.7% of GNP for development assistance by industrialized countries has been met and exceeded by only a few. If every country were to give 0.7%, this would raise $145,000 million, a sum adequate to implement the entire Agenda 21 adopted by the Rio Earth Summit. The Global Environment Facility (GEF), set up in 1991 as a 3-year pilot programme and then restructured and replenished in March 1994, is managed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The GEF helps developing countries protect the environment by providing grants and concessional funding for activities that address global warming, biodiversity, international waters, and ozone depletion. About $2,000 million is pledged for the period 1994-1997. Additional cofinancing arrangements for projects and activities exist, and includes seeking to leverage funds from private sector and other sources.

For UNDP, "the new motive must be the war against poverty, based on the recognition that this is an investment not only in the development of poor nations but in the security of rich nations". Raising awareness of all the dangers linked with the various manifestations of poverty - such as environmental degradation, disease, migration, drug abuse, terrorism - [inter alia] through the media, may be instrumental in obtaining enhanced public support for increased aid. Also, spreading information about the situation, the potential and the efforts of developing countries in respect of poverty alleviation would help.

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Within the framework of Agenda 21, developed countries reaffirmed their commitment to reach the accepted UN target of 0.7% of GNP for ODA and, to the extent that they had not yet achieved that target, agreed to augment their aid programmes in order to reach that target as soon as possible and to ensure prompt and effective implementation of Agenda 21. Some countries agreed to reach the target by the year 2000. It was decided that the Commission on Sustainable Development would regularly review and monitor progress towards this target. This review process should systematically combine the monitoring of the implementation of Agenda 21 with a review of the financial resources available. Those countries that had already reached the target were to be commended and were encouraged to continue contributing to the common effort to make available the substantial additional resources that had to be mobilized. Other developed countries, in line with their support for reform efforts in developing countries, agreed to make their best efforts to increase their level of ODA.

Subjects:
Foreign
Development
Reform
Aid
Assistance
Type Classification:
C: Cross-sectoral strategies