Focusing our precious aid dollars on the most needy is a no-brainer, right?
I was surprised to find out the United States, and a lot of other major donors, gives less than half of their ODA to the world’s poorest countries.
One of our priorities this year is to secure a commitment from the US government (and others!) to direct 50% or more of its poverty-fighting assistance to the least developed countries (LDCs). To be clear, this campaign is not about asking for more money, although more is needed; we are asking to prioritize our aid to the places that need it most.
The US should shift the balance and make sure our aid counts for the world’s poorest.
Development aid won’t end global poverty by itself, but it is disproportionately important to the poorest countries which have fewer tools to fight poverty. Wealthier countries have other resources available to fund their development, like banks or private sector partners. LDCs have the least access to other financial resources and are highly dependent on ODA.
Total development assistance to the poorest countries amounted to $41.8 billion in 2013, but if donors had directed half of their aid to LDCs, it would have provided these countries an additional $23.7 billion to fight hunger and prevent deaths from preventable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria.
2015 is a critical year for development. The new Sustainable Development Goals will be released in September when world leaders will likely commit to end extreme poverty by 2030. But without a financing strategy that targets the needs of the least-developed countries, these well-intentioned goals will just be words on a page.
So will you join us?