Aid far from enough amid Covid recovery – CPDE

The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), an open platform of civil society organisations from around the world, calls for higher levels of official development assistance (ODA) amid the world’s fragile recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our call follows the release of 2021 figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which claimed that members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) allocated USD 178.9 billion to ODA, or development aid.

For decades, DAC members have failed to deliver on their commitment to contribute 0.7% of their gross national income (GNI) towards ODA, a valuable resource for addressing poverty and inequality in developing countries. The 2021 data simply continues this trend.

Only 33 cents for every $100 of national income were spent as ODA last year. While we acknowledge the increased ODA levels, we note that these came in the form of Covid-related expenses and non-programmable aid. The figures have been inflated with the costs of in-donor refugee and student costs, as well as in-excess vaccine donations, which were not purchased in the interest of development partners.

This reneging on ODA commitment among donor countries cannot continue. We believe it is unacceptable, especially as humanity continues to hurdle the impacts of the pandemic on top of the existing socioeconomic crises. Drawing from our global multistakeholder study on the effectiveness of Covid response, higher levels of aid, made available in more flexible and unconditional terms, will be critical to recovery.

We especially point to the situation the Global South, where countries face unprecedented levels of extreme poverty, hunger, and unemployment. These challenges demand more urgent, swift, and decisive action from DAC members around boosting their aid contributions. We urge them to uphold the integrity of aid as well as the development effectiveness principles of country ownership of development priorities, results focus, transparency and accountability, and inclusive partnerships, in their use of development aid. We also join the DAC CSO Reference Group in their call to mobilise fresh and much needed aid, and prioritise unconditional grants.

At the start of the Covid outbreak, our platform said that a pandemic calls for international solidarity, and a collective endeavour of looking after each other. Then as now, we ask donors to take the challenge of rebuilding our social fabric, making sure we leave no one behind in our recovery from the pandemic.#

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