Reform of aid rules must work for people in poverty

At a high-level OECD meeting in Paris, governments of the world’s richest countries reaffirmed the importance of development aid for poverty reduction and sustainable development. But further efforts are needed to define clear rules to prevent aid from being diverted away from the poorest people, in particular when donors support private investment in poor countries. 

Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, who attended the meeting, said:

“This week at the Paris aid meetings we needed government donors to agree strict rules that when they partner up with the private sector, it is done in the interests of the poorest people.

“That did not happen. Instead, we leave worried that governments are diluting the fight against poverty.

“Business has a vital role to play in ending poverty around the globe but we need rich countries to put the rules and safeguards in place to ensure companies fully respect human rights and environmental standards. Development aid should never be used to promote rich countries own commercial interests at the expense of poor people's lives.

“The best way of defining rules for aid that really work for the poorest is to consult with developing country governments and civil society. Governments took a positive step at the Paris meetings by opening the meeting to civil society organisations and by committing to more inclusive work in the future.”

Notes to editors: 
Contact information: 

Florian Oel | EU media officer, Brussels | florian.oel@oxfam.org | office +32 2 234 11 15 |
mobile +32 473 56 22 60

Julie Seghers | Advocacy Advisor on OECD, Paris | jseghers@oxfamfrance.org |
office +33 1 85 56 84 88 | mobile +33 7 88 00 43 95

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