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The future of aid

Concern Worldwide has come to South Korea to take part in the fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. Governments from across the globe – as well as Ban Ki Moon, Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair and others – are here for a three-day meeting which is likely to have a major impact on the future of overseas development.

Update: Read a report about the results of the meeting

I’m here with staff members from Concern’s partner charities from Alliance2015. Our main objective is to ensure that world leaders agree on an important point – that poor people should have a say in the decisions that affect them. 

Making aid effective

The aim of the meeting is to make aid more effective. Though some progress has been made over the past six years, there is a long way to go.  This week, governments will review what’s been done, and decide where to go from here. But, there’s more at stake here too.

Changing world

The last few years have seen major developments that are shaping the fight against poverty. These include the economic crisis, climate change, food price volatility, population growth and the emergence of national and global oligarchies. So, who will wage the fight against poverty, and how? 

Working together

There are many issues to be addressed. One of our partners, Cooperation Committee for Cambodia, has been raising concerns about new legislation being brought in by the Cambodian government. 

Another one of our partners, the Agricultural Non-state Actors Forum, is speaking about the challenges facing small farmers in Tanzania.

New departure

A crucial point about this event is that, for the first time, organisations like Concern are actually present at the meetings. Alongside government representatives, we also have a representative who speaks for us and is negotiating on our behalf. This is the first time this has happened and it’s a real milestone. The negotiation process leading up to the meeting has also been relatively transparent – another great step forward. 

That said, there is a lot at stake and the outcome isn’t at all clear. Lots of work to do in the hours and days ahead.