More loans aand strong private sector: new development cooperation mantras?
On Thursday, the European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs presented the Agenda for Change for EU Development Policy. The Communication recognises the need for support to human rights, social protection schemes as well as the role of civil society organisations and the need for coordinated EU action at country level.
At the same time, it introduces the concept of 'differentiated development partnerships' which the Agenda acknowledges may "result in less or no EU development grant aid" for some countries. Instead it wants to lead them into a "different development relationship based on loans ." and stronger private-sector involvement.
This approach raises concern on the EC's real commitment to fight poverty. Indeed, as CONCORD highlighted in their media statement: "75% of the world's poorest live in middle income countries which have seen economic growth progress, yet great poverty still remains. They should not face aid reductions from the EU just because they are termed advanced developing countries".