In 2005, rich and poor countries promised more and better aid. Whilst there has been progress, much remains to be done. This White Paper, by the Department for International Development, sets out how the UK government will work with others to deliver these promises. It outlines key commitments in relation to building states that work for the poor, helping people get security, incomes and public services, tackling climate change and reforming the international system.
The last two decades have seen dramatic progress in reducing poverty, but this progress has been uneven. Africa will not meet any of the MDGs, and by 2015 over 90% of the world’s poor will live in Africa and South Asia. Gender discrimination is holding back economic growth and sustainable development, and one third of the world’s poor now live in fragile states.
In support of promises made in 2005, the UK government will concentrate its aid in countries with the largest number of poor people, including middle-income countries. It will work more in fragile states which are most off track with the MDGs, and give greater priority to gender equality. It will also make sure that its wider policies create an international environment that promotes development.
Efforts to eliminate world poverty are not only morally right, but will also create a safer, more prosperous world. Eliminating poverty means tackling four main challenges:
- Good governance is essential to combating poverty. Governance is about politics, or the way in which citizens and governments relate to each other. Good governance requires state capability, responsiveness and accountability. It means making politics work for the poor.
- Countries need to do better at delivering security, incomes and health and education for all. Security is a precondition for development and requires effective states. Preventing conflict is better and more cost effective than helping countries rebuild afterwards. Growth is the best way to reduce poverty, and there must be better access to economic opportunities. Everyone must have access to four essential public services; education, health, water and sanitation and social protection.
- Climate change threatens to derail development. Developing countries will need support to adapt to its devastating effects on the water cycle, and developing countries must be part of a future solution.
- The international system must be improved and international problems need international solutions. Developing countries must have a stronger say in how the international system works. Multilateral organisations have a critical role to play in aid delivery.
To this end, over the next five years, the UK will:
- Help to build states that work for the poor: by making good governance central. A new “quality of governance” assessment will guide how the UK gives aid. Decisions about aid will also be based on partner countries’ commitment to poverty reduction. Corruption, bribery and money laundering will be tackled internationally.
- Help people have security, incomes and public services: by promoting peace and security, supporting private sector development, investing in infrastructure and agriculture and reforming international trade rules. DFID will commit at least half of all future direct support for developing countries to public services.
- Work internationally to tackle climate change: including creating incentives for clean energy, helping developing countries to adapt and ensuring they are involved in discussions about solutions.
- Create an international system fit for the 21st century. This means UN reform, more responsive international finance institutions, and supporting the growing roles of regional organisations. It also means pushing for the OECD-DAC to monitor and hold donors to account on their development commitments.