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Measuring the Impact of Developmental Aid in Africa

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Posted on 9/30/2013


Developmental aid contributions and spending of that aid must be monitored more effectively if poverty-reduction goals are to be met.
Developmental aid contributions and spending of that aid must be monitored more effectively if poverty-reduction goals are to be met.

Many of the countries in which ChildFund operates rely on international aid, particularly those in Africa. Extreme poverty remains a serious problem in many African nations, and without the financial assistance of organizations like the United States Agency for International Development and implementation by nongovernmental organizations like ChildFund, children's lives would be at even greater risk. Although developmental aid is vital to supporting children in need and their families across Africa, more must be done to ensure that there is an effective allocation of resources and funds and that objectives are being met, according to a recent report published by independent poverty analysis group Development Initiatives.

Meeting Urgent Needs

The report, which examined how international aid funding is allocated across Africa, suggests that action must be taken to ensure that the most urgent needs of families and communities affected by poverty are being targeted effectively and that the allocation of resources is being used efficiently for poverty reduction.

At present, there are also major disparities between the economic growth of countries that have committed to providing developmental aid to Africa and the economic progress being made in those developing countries.

According to the report, the best-case scenario of economic progress at current funding levels is that more than 100 million people worldwide will remain in extreme poverty (living on less than $1.25 a day) by 2030, but with assistance from private donors and corporate investment, the outlook brightens.

Staying on Target

Another challenge identified by the report is the difficulty in effectively tracking how international aid to Africa is used, as well as confusion about what aid actually means. Some assistance goes directly toward providing food, water and other essentials directly to communities, while other development aid dollars pay for long-term infrastructure and the costs of training staff.

Sub-Saharan Africa receives 35 percent of all official development aid, the largest share in the world, but funding levels by all but five developed countries (all of which are in Europe) are below the United Nations' goal of 0.7 percent of gross national income being allocated to development aid. The United States, which spent $2 billion on foreign aid in 2011, is below 0.2 percent, according to the report.

This leaves organizations like ChildFund relying on the generosity of sponsors and donors with much to accomplish. We work in some of Africa's poorest countries and underserved regions to help children in need and their families emerge from generational poverty, but to do so, we need your help. One of the most effective ways you can bring hope to a child's life is by becoming a child sponsor. For just $28 per month, you can help ChildFund provide food, medicine and educational opportunities to a child living in poverty in Africa. Your support will make a lifetime's worth of difference.