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A Delicate Balancing Act: Navigating the Interplay Between Populism and the Economy


Jun 10, 2023

International aid has been successful in combating poverty, hunger, and diseases like polio and FGM, as well as providing vital relief supplies to people affected by natural disasters and conflicts. However, despite the ongoing global crisis, some of the world’s richest countries are planning to cut their life-saving aid budgets over the next few years.

While political elites make these decisions within the safety of their privileged positions, it is the most vulnerable people around the world who feel the consequences. Donors fall short of their goal of contributing 0.7% of their GNI to Official Development Assistance (ODA), with aid to the least developed countries and sub-Saharan Africa actually declining. Meanwhile, military spending continues to increase.

This decline in development funding creates a shift in budgetary priorities and forces low- and middle-income countries to make difficult choices regarding the allocation of scarce domestic resources, which undermines the development of the social sector. This situation not only affects countries’ ability to fulfill their pledge to increase ODA but also intensifies the impact of climate change, causing widespread hunger, and exacerbating exclusion in the Global South.

To address this, there is an urgent need for political will and ambition to defend unity and justice. Developed countries must allocate at least 0.7% of their GNI as ODA to meet the critical needs of developing countries. Moreover, they must provide new funds to help Ukraine and compensate those most affected by climate change, such as communities experiencing loss and damage.

As we approach the halfway point in funding the global Sustainable Development Goals, the findings are highly alarming. Leaving no one behind and prioritizing investments in decent and green jobs, social protection, health care, and equitable access to education is essential to lift millions out of hunger and poverty.

By Editor

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