Read more about the critical role played by development assistance in the fight against extreme poverty and disease.
In 2000, 189 nations adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight goals designed to reduce global poverty and disease by 2015. If achieved, the MDGs could transform the lives of millions in the world’s poorest countries, but many impoverished nations can’t reach these ambitious targets alone. In signing on to the MDGs, world leaders acknowledged that progress towards the first seven goals — an end to extreme poverty and hunger, universal primary education, gender equality, reduced child mortality, improved maternal health, progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases, and environmental sustainability — would largely depend on leadership in developing countries. But by committing to goal eight—a global partnership for development—wealthy nations around the globe clearly affirmed the importance of donor support in the fight against extreme poverty and disease.
The spirit of this commitment has been captured in several agreements since the 2000 Summit. In 2002 at the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, Mexico, wealthy countries committed to spending 0.7% of their gross national product on development. At the Gleneagles Summit in 2005, the G8 agreed to deliver an additional $50 billion in global development assistance by 2010, half of which (an additional $25 billion) would be designated to sub-Saharan Africa.
In its annually published DATA Report, ONE monitors the extent to which donors are on track to deliver their commitments to sub-Saharan Africa. In its 2011 Report, ONE found that the G7 delivered only 61% of the increases promised to Africa by 2010. Some countries are more to blame for the shortfall than others. Canada and Japan met or beat relatively modest targets, while the United Kingdom nearly met 86% of its much more ambitious target. The United States also made historic increases, meeting 121% of their commitment. France met 45% of their ambitious commitment, while Germany fell short, meeting only 23% of their target.
However, the Gleneagles agreements expired in 2010 and have not been replaced with any comparable set of commitments. Key donors including the United States, Canada and Japan no longer have overall official development assistance (ODA) targets. The European Union (EU) (plus Norway) represents the only group of countries that have ongoing collective targets to increase ODA as a percentage of gross national income (GNI). These countries committed to increase ODA to 0.7% of GNI by 2015 and to provide 50% of all increases to Africa, including a (non-specified) increase to sub-Saharan Africa. ONE's 2012 DATA Report tracked EU commitments and found that, despite their leadership on development assistance commitments, European countries had already fallen €18 billion short of their interim targets for increasing ODA. Furthermore, as of 2011, EU countries had only met 22.5% of their target increases promised to Africa.
In 2011, ODA flows from rich countries fell (for the first time in many years) by 2.7%, as a result of delayed effects of the global economic crisis. As poor countries struggle to cope with the effects of the food, climate and global financial crises, successes in Africa—supported by donor assistance—are at risk. Core growth of ODA is expected to stagnate between 2013 and 2015, jeopardizing progress towards achieving the MDGs in the final critical years before they expire.
In the past, some donors have used aid for geopolitical purposes, rather than allocating it for economic growth and progress towards achieving the MDGs. This has led some to believe that aid or development assistance is ineffective. But recent successes have shown that high quality development assistance does work; across the globe, development investments are producing lifesaving results (Please see aid effectiveness page). The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria saved an estimated 8.7 million lives between 2004 and 2012, including through the provision of 310 million mosquito nets to help protect families from malaria, and the detection and treatment of 9.7 million cases of tuberculosis. Globally, 8 million people - around three quarters of whom are in sub-Saharan Africa - had access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 2011, a dramatic increase of 20% from the previous year. The GAVI Alliance supported the immunization of 370 million additional children since 2000, averting 5.5 million child deaths.
Targeted development assistance and savings from debt relief has also allowed an extra 51 million sub-Saharan African children to enroll in primary school between 1999 and 2010. These results were achieved with only a portion of the assistance promised to poor countries, suggesting that fulfilled commitments delivered effectively could have an enormous impact. In 2011, the total amount of Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by the G7 (excluding debt relief and including their share of contributions to multilateral donors) decreased compared with previous years to $109.8 million, with a quarter of this ($28.1 billion) specifically for sub-Saharan Africa.
Donors are also developing inventive new tools to provide sustained development funding through innovative financing mechanisms. These mechanisms raised an estimated $57 billion for development between 2000 and 2008, using creative approaches ranging from the International Finance Facility for Immunization's issuing of bonds to purchase vaccines, using an Advanced Market Commitment to spur the creation of a new pneumococcal vaccine, to mobilizing resources from consumers to finance Global Fund programs (via Product (RED)).
8 June 2013
Adrian Lovett, Europe Executive Director for ONE, speaking from the Nutrition for Growth Summit, said:
“ This summit marks the biggest milestone in two decades in the fight against child and maternal malnutrition. Robust pledges made by donors, civil society, the private sector and high burden countries are truly historic with a total $4.1 billion promised. This represents a more than doubling in current levels of funding. Vital resources including those from DFID and the EU will go a long way and will enable the international community to achieve our target of 20 million fewer stunted children and 1.7 million child lives saved by 2020.
“The crucial thread running through these commitments is an increased focus on transparency and accountability. As David Cameron said in his opening statement, without the lens of transparency, the 2020 vision of reduced malnutrition will be impossible to achieve if progress cannot be tracked.
"Today's announcements are a tribute to the dedication of campaigners around the world, especially here in Britain working together in the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign. ONE is proud to be part of this effort.
"Nutrition for Growth marks the beginning of the next 1,000 days in the fight against malnutrition. The true test of its impact will be to ensure that the final sprint to end extreme poverty sees real accelerated progress against senseless child deaths and needless stunted growth and development. G8 leaders have the perfect opportunity to lift this from rhetoric to action at Lough Erne next week and safeguard the potential of millions of the world’s children. Having finally hauled this issue up from the bottom of the world’s priority list, the greatest scandal of all would be to let it fall back.” More
30 May 2013
The ONE Campaign welcomes today’s report from the United Nations’ High Level Panel (HLP) outlining its vision for the next set of global development goals. More
22 May 2013
Responding to the UK's decision to join the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, Adrian Lovett, Europe Executive Director at ONE said: “Today’s announcement is another step in the right direction by David Cameron in the fight against extreme poverty. Coming just six weeks after the historic political deal was reached in Europe on new rules requiring extractive companies to declare their payments to foreign governments, the implementation of EITI shows continued political will by the UK and France to support transparency in the extractive sectors both at home and abroad and sends a strong and clear message. More
are receiving lifesaving antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS.
enrolled in primary school between 1999 and 2010, thanks in part to debt relief and development assistance for education.
to increase development assistance to sub-Saharan Africa by 2010.
Posted by Adrian Lovett
Posted by Helen Hector