Developmental aid contributions and spending of that aid
must be monitored more effectively if poverty-reduction goals are to be
Many of the countries in
which ChildFund operates rely on international aid, particularly those in
Africa. 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 funds are being allocated
effectively 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 spending
is being used efficiently to reduce poverty.
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
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
Staying on Target
Another challenge identified by the report is the
difficulty in effectively tracking how international aid 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
aid dollars pay for long-term infrastructure and the costs of training
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 foreign 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
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.