A new funding plan to deliver basic health and education for everyone is essential to end extreme poverty in Africa
This is according to The ONE Campaign’s DATA Report 2015: Putting the Poorest First, released this week in Abidjan alongside the African Development Bank Group Annual Meetings.
If the new Global Goals that will be launched in September are to succeed, world leaders must make a concerted effort to target the poorest people and the poorest countries, or lives will be lost and years of development progress risks being undone.
A focus on girls and women is crucial, both to address the additional deprivation they face and because smart investments in women are more effective at lifting communities out of poverty.
ONE’s analysis shows that development partners are missing their targets, and financial support for the least developed countries (LDCs) continues to fall. Although LDCs are increasingly home to those who live on less than $1.25 a day, they received less than a third of aid (30,3%) in 2014. Had that share been increased to 50%, an additional $26,5-billion would have been available to those who need it most.
ONE is calling for better targeted development assistance to be coupled with increased domestic revenues from developing countries’ own governments to fund access to basic social services for everyone by 2020. With a $152-billion funding gap to meet these basic needs worldwide, including $34.5 billion in LDCs, July’s Financing for Development (FfD) conference in Addis Ababa will be a pivotal moment in securing ambitious commitments.
Investments in agriculture and energy are essential, along with action to clamp down on corruption, curb illicit financial flows and drive up transparency so citizens can follow the money from resources to results.
Dr Sipho Moyo, ONE’s Africa executive director, comments: “More than two-thirds of the least developed countries are in Africa; these countries bear a growing share of the world’s extreme poor. Decisions taken this year could be transformative for them and shape the course of history.
“A resolute focus on the poorest and most marginalised, especially girls and women, is needed to ensure no one is left behind beyond 2015. In Addis Ababa in July, world leaders need to agree to a mutual accountability pact that will prioritise resources from all governments on meeting basic needs and providing essential services, while also increasing investments to boost inclusive growth.”
The DATA report sets out a five point plan for the world’s poorest to be agreed at the pivotal Financing for
Development conference, which must include:
* Access to basic services – minimum funding to ensure the basic needs of every person can be meet, including health and education, with a focus on girls and women;
* Increased domestic government revenues – developing countries should drive up revenue through implementing fair tax policies, curbing corruption and stemming illicit financial flows;
* Development assistance should be targeted where it is most needed, with 50% going to LDCs, and donors setting a timetable to reach the international target of spending 0.7% of GNI on development assistance;
* Sustainable inclusive growth – specific investment to drive up productivity, in particular agriculture, infrastructure, energy, trade and private finance; and
* Strong accountability through a data revolution to ensure that commitments are followed through.
ONE’s analysis shows a minimum level of spending of $500 per person per year, or 10% of GDP, is needed to deliver the scale of ambition needed to meet the Global Goals. For the 27 countries that currently spend less than $150 per person, ONE recommends an interim target of $300 per person. The total cost is $152-billion for the 66 countries worldwide that are below their targets; the cost for the 37 LDCs is $34,5-billion.
The largest source of funding for development comes from countries’ own resources. To provide basic services for their citizens, governments should increase domestic revenues towards ambitious, nationally-defined revenue to GDP targets. This can be achieved through implementing fair tax policies, curbing corruption and stemming illicit flows. By halving the revenue gap, domestic resources could be increased by $106,9-billion across 46 developing countries; $14,4-billion in the least developed countries.