Brussels, 29 November 2011/ ACP Newsdesk: Countries from the African, Caribbean and Pacific region are taking a united stance at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness currently underway in Busan, South Korea. The forum will review whether global development assistance is meeting its aims in terms of growing economies and easing poverty, and look to setting a new agenda for aid.

The ACP Group, including 79 member states, are calling for more reliable and transparent information on aid contributions and urge the use of national systems by donor parties to improve aid absorption. Members are also pushing for the abolition of aid conditionalities, and better coordination amongst donors as well as partner countries.

Represented at the forum by Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Group cited the 2011 progress review of the Paris Declaration (2005) and Accra Agenda for Action (2008) on aid effectiveness, highlighting the “significant shortcomings” in reaching objectives.

“Significant progress has certainly been noted, but an overall view of progress made reveals a rather disparate situation, both at the level of indicators requiring efforts from partner countries, and those of donors,” saidthe ACP Group's position statement.

“It must be strongly stated that a number of objectives pertaining to donors have shown either very little or no progress at all. These objectives relate to the coordination of missions and analytical work, reducing aid fragmentation and medium-term predictability”.

So far, accomplished objectives include those on technical contributions and the untying of aid, which allows partner countries to purchase local goods and services rather than being bound to limited options set out by donors. The report also noted an increase in policy ownership and a gradual improvement in national development strategies in partner countries.

However, other issues remain a challenge, such as the need for medium-term predictability of aid in order to ensure efficient budget programming in partner countries, limited capacity amongst these countries at institutional and technical levels, as well as the reluctance of donor partners to engage national systems to manage aid funds.

“It is clear that aid will never yield the desired results if aid delivery and management modalities are not reformed in both partner countries and in donor agencies and countries,” the Group stated.

“The [Busan Forum] must remove the barriers to change and push forward the necessary reforms that must focus on the commitments made in Paris and Accra which generate the most impact in terms of aid effectiveness. It should send a strong political message to donor and partner countries so that the necessary decisions can be made to drive the implementation of aid effectiveness commitments.”

The ACP Group is a major recipient of development aid and includes 48 member countries from Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific.

The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness is organised by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and its partners, taking place 29 November – 2 December. -END-

Download ACP Group position on aid effectiveness