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Aid and development finance

Marie Blackburn, Oxfam Air Operations Manager, supervises the lift off of the Oxfam helicopter. (Pakistan, 2005)

Without increased aid and debt relief, the Millennium Development Goals that were agreed in 2000 will not be met. We want donor governments and international organisations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and United Nations to spend their aid effectively and target the poorest groups in society. Oxfam has been working for many years to reduce the debts of developing countries and we continue to campaign for more debt cancellation.

Key strategies

  • Aid quantity:  donor governments must improve their efforts to provide at least 0.7 per cent of gross national income in aid. They are encouraged to set out how this target will be reached, with legally binding timetables. Aid should be given in the long-term and through government budgets wherever possible.
  • Aid quality:  donor governments must also ensure that aid is given in effective and accountable ways. They need to be certain that all of their policies work for development and do not dilute the poverty focus of aid. Aid should be aimed at meeting poverty reduction goals, including supporting developing country governments to deliver strong, effective public services.
  • Other sources of development finance:  Oxfam and others are campaigning for the introduction of a Robin Hood Tax - a tax of 0.05 per cent on banks' financial transactions.
  • If introduced globally, it would raise hundreds of billions of pounds every year for development and climate change adaptation. Finance from the financial transactions tax should be in addition to the target of 0.7 per cent of their gross national income for rich countries to give as official international development aid.

Campaigns and advocacy

  • Oxfam and others continue to urge all donors to ensure that aid is channelled to help support active citizens and build effective states as a pathway to reducing poverty and inequality. Adequate resources must be available in advance to cover emergency responses. Provision of predictable funding would allow humanitarian agencies to be better prepared to respond to them.

  • Donors should also improve the predictability of - and consistently meet - their agreed commitments. Conditionality attached to aid must also be limited to poverty outcomes and should not dictate economic policy to poor countries.

  • Developing country governments are urged to reject a culture of corruption and act in ways that are transparent and open to scrutiny. Also, to provide a legal environment within which civil society organisations can flourish and an independent press is at liberty to report without censorship.

  • Oxfam believes strong continued UK support for the Global Fund for HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria is essential, as it has saved over five million lives since its inception.

  • Oxfam is calling for a Global Fund for Education - An Education for All Fast Track Initiative (FTI) that is operationally and politically independent from the World Bank, with the Bank acting strictly as a trustee of FTI resources.