EU warned private sector engagement in aid risks putting profit before poverty

Thursday, May 15, 2014

New European commission proposals to boost the role of business in aidprogrammes and throw the EU’s weight behind the development agenda of private companies risk putting profits before the needs of the world’s poorest, groups representing hundreds of NGOs have warned.

In a policy paper released on Tuesday, the commission noted the vital part the private sector can play in ending poverty, suggesting 12 ways of strengthening its role in international development.

The formal communication – entitled A Stronger Role of the Private Sector in Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries – seeks to lay out a framework in which private companies can invest in sustainable agricultural production and help to better the lives of women, young people and the poor.

The proposals include: improving regulatory business environments in partner countries; encouraging job creation by making it easier for micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses to access finance; combining EU grants with other public and private sector resources to leverage additional financing; and promoting responsible, sustainable and inclusive investment in developing countries.

Source: The Guardian (link opens in a new window)