Posted by: Home Strange Home | August 5, 2009

DFID White Paper

On July 6, 2009, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) released its white paper on international development, entitled “Eliminating World Poverty: Building Our Common Future.”  It presents the UK government’s strategy on poverty reduction and sustainable development. 

The white paper opens with addresses from Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, and Douglas Alexander, the Secretary of State for International Development.  The report notes the progress that has already been made to lift people out of poverty and asserts DFID’s ongoing commitment to development and the Millennium Development Goals despite the current economic client at home.  

DFID’s philosophy is that aid should be used to fight poverty, not for political and commercial self-interest.  Since the June 17, 2002 International Development Act, which made poverty reduction the focus of DFID, tied aid has been outlawed in the UK.  This is in marked contrast with other leading bilateral donors, such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which ties its aid to the purchase of US goods and services. 

The DFID white paper emphasizes the interdependence of today’s world and the role development plays in international security.  The white paper prioritizes development in fragile and conflict states whose troubles have flowed over into the international arena; witness the pirates in Somalia and poppy-growers in Afghanistan.  This, along with the rapid spread of the financial crisis worldwide, and the common problem of climate change, means that reducing poverty and promoting development is in the UK national interest.  

The main goals as outlined in the white paper include: achieving sustainable growth in the global downturn, with measures to promote free and fair trade; pressing for an equitable global deal on climate change at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009; focusing new aid on conflict states and investing in security, justice, and peace building; keeping UK promise to reach the UN target of .7% of national income devoted to aid by 2013; increasing money to international institutions such as the UN, subject to performance, and pressing for reform in the World Bank and IMF; and improving transparency and independent evaluation within DFID.  

DFID has also rolled out its new UKaid logo, which is desigend to make it easier for the public to see when and where DFID is spending money on development.  A copy of the white paper can be found at the DFID website

Source: DFID White Paper, Overseas Development Institute

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