Donor club set to snub Britain on Caribbean “aid”

(UK Ministry of Defence)

Aid “diluted”

It’s a “difficult time” for the defenders of aid, said Seghers, alluding to the pressure donor agencies are under, for example to use aid budgets to meet political priorities about migration and security.

In-country refugee costs

Receiving new refugees in a developed economy can get expensive — it takes a range of processing, welfare, and integration programmes. Donors are allowed to count one year of these costs as part of their official aid, even though it’s all spent at home. As IRIN reported earlier this year, this provision has been jumped on by many European donors, some say excessively, and now accounts for $15.4 billion a year — astonishingly, more than the total of emergency aid sent abroad (about $14.4 billion). In Paris this week, these rules will be clarified. IRIN understands from those close to the process that security-related costs (police, border security, deportations, and detention) are out. However, there’s a last sticking point: how to treat the processing of asylum-seekers who don’t qualify as refugees. Should that be allowed, the rule (or loophole, depending on your point of view) will have been significantly widened.

Private sector instruments

If a donor guarantees a loan for a company working in a poor and risky country, or a development bank buys shares in a garment factory in sub-Saharan Africa, which part of that can be called ODA? Oxfam and other NGOs have listed concerns about private sector proposals that “blur the lines on commercial interests”, lack human rights and environmental safeguards, and are “way too generous” to donors, according to Seghers. Technical debates on these issue will not conclude this week, sources told IRIN.



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