Inicio NGOs find aid packages to be mere scraps

NGOs find aid packages to be mere scraps

Por Sonia del Valle

Social organizations at the Global Forum: Financing for the Right to Sustainable and Equitable Development, criticized the aid offered by President George W. Bush, which they refer to as crumbs for development.

Alejandro Villamar, Mexican Steering Committee spokesperson, explained that for each dollar rich countries send as aid, developing countries have to send back six dollars as payment of foreign debt.

They also referred to the aid package that the governments of Europe agreed on, which is to raise the percentage of Official Aid for Development (OAD) to .3% by 2006, as scraps. Currently the amount designated for OAD doesn’t reach past .2% of Gross National Products.

Roberto Bissio, of the Third World Institute, explained that 5 million dollars is only 5% of the one billion the UN has declared necessary to guarantee an elementary education for every person in the world, as well as basic health services, reducing maternal mortality rates, among other goals set at the Millenium Summit that took place in New York, September of 2000.

Meanwhile, the union of the NGOs of Spain expressed their approval of the unilateral decision made by the governments of Europe to raise the percentage of OAD by 2006. As their spokesperson, Alfonso Sancho, said, this decision was made at the European Summit that is being held in Barcelona, Spain.

For citizen’s organizations of European countries, this, “last minute decision” is the recognition by the richest countries in the world that the FfD document lacks concrete obligations to reach the objectives of the Millenium Summit. Among which is, reducing in half by the year 2015 the number of people who live in poverty.

However, they found these actions to be insufficient to obtain a consensus between the countries of the north and the south that looks towards an agenda that favors equitable and sustainable development.

Alfonso Sancho, pointed out that the citizens organizations of the world are not asking for charity on the part of developed countries, but for actions that come from recognizing that the actual financial system is designed to keep developing countries structurally dependant.

It’s important to remember that the richest countries, grouped as the G-7 are the ones who make decisions regarding the economic system of the world, and in multilateral financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

According to the UN, of the 4.6 thousand million people that live in the developing world, 826 million lack food, 850 million are illiterate, and almost a sixth of humanity go without systems of drinkable water.

Translated by Sarah Stuteville and Livia Olvera Snyder

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