Cash Aid for Africa

STOCKHOLM – Europe has made an ambitious commitment to scale up its aid to Africa, and Africa’s challenges call for that greater engagement. But boosting aid to countries that are already aid-dependent requires clearer delivery mechanisms and a degree of budgetary predictability. Something new is called for, and cash transfers directly to poor people could be an alternative − but only as a part of a longer-term vision of partner countries’ welfare systems.

The European Union has committed itself and its member states to increase aid flows to 0.56% of GDP by 2010 and 0.7% by 2015 − with a big focus on Africa. The combined aid commitments of OECD Development Assistance Committee member countries would mean a doubling of official development assistance to Africa between 2004 and 2010 – that is, if they are honored.