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'Real aid' from UK helps end poverty for good

Britain is leading the way in good quality aid that makes a real long term difference to ending poverty, says a new report

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Britain is leading the way in providing quality aid that makes a real long term difference to ending poverty, according to a report released by ActionAid today.

‘Real aid’ is helping countries to beat poverty for good, say the charity, by gradually reducing reliance on foreign help and building up their own capabilities.

The new report finds that poor countries’ reliance on aid has declined by a third over the past decade and the UK is taking a global lead through high quality aid.

In the report, Real Aid 3: Ending Aid Dependency, the charity argues that effective aid helps countries to set their own development path. For example, by building up systems like tax collection, real aid helps countries to generate their own funds for development.

With the help of real aid, reliance on foreign help dropped from 47% to 27% in Ghana in the last ten years. In Mozambique dependency fell from 74% to 58%.

ActionAid’s Head of Economic & Social Development, Dr Anna Thomas said:

Our research shows that more developing countries are becoming less dependent on aid and are able to rely increasingly on their own resources to deliver essential services.

These results show we’re moving in the right direction - and means that good quality aid - real aid - is working.  
“Real aid is effective and has few strings attached. It puts developing countries where they should be - in the driving seat of their own development.”

The report echoes the direction of UK aid that was set out in the Department for International Development’s aid reviews earlier this year. In its new approach paper - UK aid: Changing lives, delivering results - the agency aims to help more countries to graduate from aid, reaching the point where they no longer require support and can meet the needs of their own people with their own resources.

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Published 13 September 2011