African churches are urging governments to end the scandal of poverty as representatives from 100 countries prepare to meet for discussions on how aid is organised. The High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness takes place this week, 2-4 September, this week in Accra, Ghana.
The General Secretary of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) Rev. Dr. Mvume Dandala said, “About 29,000 children under the age of five die every day, 21 each minute, mainly from preventable causes. The Accra forum has the potential to improve how we end this scandal of poverty but only if it helps poor people become the authors of their development”.
The Forum brings together over 800 representatives of multilateral and bilateral donors, developing country governments, and civil society organisations. The meeting will review the Paris Declaration, a roadmap to improving aid effectiveness signed by one hundred ministers, heads of agencies and other senior officials in March 2005.
“Aid must be judged by what it delivers on development,” Rev. Dr. Mvume Dandala said. “The Paris Declaration ignores sustainable development and the High Level Forum must make impact on the poor central to the way we look at development spending”.
Meeting in preparation for the Forum, church leaders from Africa and representatives of international faith-based organisations are making a plea to governments and multilateral donor agencies to fulfil their commitments to the poor.
For example, rich country governments are behaving shamefully in still tying aid to the promotion of their own economic interests. Requiring food aid be supplied by Northern producers in the current food crisis is immoral. We have lost our way if aid benefits the rich when the poor go hungry in greater numbers.
Bishop Francisco Silota, who represents the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences in Africa and Madagascar, SECAM, in Accra, said, “Churches and faith-based organisations are major providers of health, education and other social services in developing countries. Churches are constantly engaged with the realities facing the poor, and they must be recognised as partners in delivering development aid.”
Main media contact: Sean Hawkey, ACT Development
Telephone: + 44 777 561 6813.
2 September 2008