Progress towards the 0.7% target
42. In July, we asked the DFID Permanent Secretary,
Nemat Shafik, how confident she was that DFID could maintain its
progress towards the 0.7% target. She told us
I am very confident in the current CSR [Comprehensive
Spending Review] period that we are on the right trajectory.
I think the next CSR is too unknown to know [
] we will
not know what GDP is at that stage, but we also will not know
what the state of the economy is at this stage [
] for the
next three years we are pretty confident that we are on track.
Thereafter, I think we have to see.
The EU reaffirmed its commitment that each member
state will devote 0.7% of Gross National Income to Official Development
Assistance by 2015 at the Doha Financing for Development Conference
in December. The
Secretary of State was optimistic about the prospects of the
UK fulfilling the 0.7% pledge by the earlier date of 2013:
] the Prime Minister himself stated on 17
October this is, of course, after the immediate financial
crisis. He stated: 'By 2013 the United Kingdom Government will
reach our target of spending 0.7% of national income on aid. We
have clearly laid out our plans to reach this goal and we are
encouraging our partners to do likewise.' That is the clearest
and most authoritative statement of British Government policy
on this issue.
We welcome confirmation from the
Secretary of State, echoing the Prime Minister, that the UK will
maintain its progress towards the goal of 0.7% of Gross National
Income to be allocated to Official Development Assistance by 2013.
43. However, some other donors are failing to
fulfil their commitments. Even before the deterioration in the
world economic situation, it was clear that a number of G8 countries
were not on track to meet the 0.7% target. The Africa Progress
Panel, which was set up to monitor progress on the funding commitments
made at the 2005 Gleneagles Summit, said in June 2008 that, without
major changes in aid levels, most G8 countries would be "well
below" the target of doubling aid to Africa between 2004
and 2010. The
OECD DAC concluded that commitments made at Gleneagles and subsequent
summits indicated that overall aid levels would need to rise from
$80 billion in 2004 to $130 billion in 2010 but for this to be
realised, core development programmes would have to double over
the next three years. In publishing its development expenditure
statistics for 2007, the DAC said "Overall, most donors are
not on track to meet their stated commitments to scale up aid
and will need to make unprecedented increases to meet the targets
they have set for 2010".
DFID's 2008 Autumn Performance Report reinforces this point: it
quotes the DAC secretariat's recent conclusion that "non-debt
ODA is currently not on track to achieve the $130 billion target,
] the target may be missed by over $30 billion if the
44. The latest forecasts from the International
Monetary Fund are that global growth will shrink by 0.5% in 2009
followed by a gradual recovery in 2010.
Shrinking economies in donor countries, many of which are now
in recession, will mean that the funding available for Official
Development Assistance is also likely to reduce because the commitments
were made as percentages of gross national income rather than
in money terms. We will explore the implications of this for financing
for development in our current inquiry into Aid Under Pressure.
45. The UK must continue to
press its donor partners to maintain their commitment to reach
0.7% of gross national income to be devoted to development expenditure
by 2015. The impact of the global economic downturn on developing
countries will mean that they need more help more urgently than
was previously the case. We believe that the UK should continue
to lead by example and that the opportunity should be taken at
every international meeting on development to seek renewed pledges
which are backed up by action.