Donors flayed for adding riders to aid

Kathmandu, October 29:

Members of civil society organisations and development workers today criticised the donor agencies for their failure to stick to their commitments, for attaching conditions and for not being able to make aid delivery effective in developing countries.

They highlighted studies, which showed that around 80 per cent of the aid amount is diverted back to the donor countries in the name of technical assistance and in other forms. Dr Arjun Karki, president of the NGO Federation of Nepal, criticised the aid policy followed by the IMF and the World Bank.

The members were speaking at a four-day (October 29-November 1) workshop on Civil Society Organisations and Aid Effectiveness of South Asia and West Asia Region, which began in the Valley today.

The workshop is a review meeting of the Paris Declaration of 2005 on aid effectiveness.

The ministers of developed and developing countries and the heads of multilateral and bilateral development institutions, including the IMF and the World Bank, had in 2005 resolved through the Paris Declaration “to take far-reaching actions” to reform the ways they deliver and manage aid. Other regional review meetings of the 2005 Declaration have already been concluded in various parts of the world.

Speaking at the opening session of the workshop, Minister for Foreign Affairs Sahana Pradhan said that the issues governing aid effectiveness have an ‘important implication’ in the developing countries. “Productive and effective utilisation of foreign aid need to be ensured. To make development process more effective, there is a need of collaboration between government, civil society and the private sector,” she said.

Pradhan, however, laid stress on ‘anomalies’ in both recipient and donor countries with regard to utilisation of foreign aid.

Maheshwor Man Shrestha, a member of the National Planning Commission, highlighted the importance of the government’s recently published Three Year Interim Plan in this regard.

Speakers also included Antonio Tujan, Chairperson of Reality of Aid Network, Brian Tomlinson, member of Advisory Group on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness, Rabin Subedi, Nepal Policy Institute, and Jamal Jawahiri from Al Amal, Iraq.