Post-FfD Forum 2020: CPDE highlights the urgency of fulfilling ODA commitments amid COVID-19

The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) urged donor countries to fulfill their official development assistance (ODA) commitments, to help developing countries combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - May 15, 2020 - PRLog -- Following the Financing for Development (FfD) Forum 2020, global civil society platform CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) called on donor countries to fulfill their official development assistance (ODA) commitments, especially taking into account the impact of COVID-19.

Last week, ODA figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) member countries for 2019 showed an increase of 1.4% in real terms, to 152.8 billion USD.

"While this is a modest increase in real terms, we want to emphasise that ODA actually decreased when computed as a percentage of GNI or gross national income from, .31 to .3%," explained CPDE Co-Chair Marita Gonzalez.

Aid provided in the form of loans as opposed to grants also increased by 5.7% compared to 2018. For CPDE, this is a cause for concern for many developing countries who are already suffering from rising debt levels.

The ODA figures release coincides with the Financing for Development review process, which has just published its Financing for Sustainable Development Report (FSDR) 2020. Civil society organisations in the Civil Society FfD Group, of which CPDE is part, have expressed concern regarding the impact of negative ODA trends on the broader development finance landscape.

A closer look reveals that ODA is down as a percentage of GNI, which means donors as a whole continue to fail on the 0.7% commitment. The numbers are widely expected to shrink even further in the next two years, as donors deal with the effect of COVID-19 on their economies.

For CPDE, taking this direction will only aggravate the situation, and worse, put the Sustainable Development agenda at risk. As Co-Chair Justin Kilcullen explains, "The reality of COVID-19 should all the more encourage donor countries to increase their ODA to help developing countries directly respond to the impacts of the disease, as well as narrow the inequality that underpins it and makes all of humankind vulnerable to more pandemics." He also argued that COVID-19 assistance packages should not be used to tighten grip on civil society and contribute to the pattern of shrinking civic space.

For her part, Co-Chair Beverly Longid says  public budgets should not be used in any  bailout packages for big corporations: "The COVID-19 pandemic shows that the monies of donor governments must go where it is needed the most - on strengthening public healthcare to provide free testing, treatment, and timely information, and other social services.

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