Monday, 1 September 2008

Aids fails to reduce poverty and inequality in Africa

The third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness opened today Accra with civil society organizations (CSOs) saying that aid to developing countries has failed to reduce poverty and inequality.

In an opening remark, Ms Cecilla Alemany, Manager, Influencing Development Actors and Practice for Women Rights said that aid had continued to meet donor’s own foreign and economic policy interest.

``Aid can help to lift people out of poverty and help them to realize their human rights but this is not the case with donors,’’ she said.

Alemany said that aid, however, was not working for poor people as it was used to serve the interest of the rich and powerful.

``We know why much aid does not work for poor people. But action by both donors and recipients to change their policies and practice is shamefully slow,’’ she said.

She also said that donor governments and agencies have failed to recognize the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in aid effectiveness. ``The roles assumed by CSOs are not substitutes for government obligations to meet their responsibilities for their citizens.

``CSOs are development actors in their own rights, rooted in organization of citizens to claim rights and hold governments and donors to account,’’ she added.

She said that CSOs must be giving full play to hold donors and government to account for implementing aid effectiveness principles.

* By Alex Abutu
Immersion Fellow

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