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Tuesday, 08 July 2014

UN special advisor calls for more innovative foreign aid

Philippe Douste-Blazy told EurActiv France that in the current economic context, financing for foreign aid must be more innovative. This can be achieved with “painless” taxes, tapping into Africa’s oil exports and greater cooperation,he said in an interview.
There are one billion people earning less than one dollar per day, four billion earning four dollars, and one billion who are the “happy few”, says Philippe Douste-Blazy, United Nations Special Advisor on Innovative Financing for Development.
High birth rates mean the needs of people living in extreme poverty are increasing. They need more clean water, better education and efficient healthcare. This, accompanied by the West’s struggling economy and budget cuts to foreign aid, leads to what Douste-Blazy calls the “scissor effect”.
According to Douste-Blazy, the scissor effect means many of the UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will not be met. The MDGs are a set of eight anti-poverty goals that range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS (see context). In 2006, Douste-Blazy was elected President of UNITAID, a global health initiative. He was given the task of promoting UNITAID and other sources of innovative financing in order to achieve the MDGs.
In 2013, many EU member states’ contributions to international development decreased. According to an OECD report, foreign aid decreased in France and many other EU member states. Douste-Blazy praises the UK, which managed to mobilise enough public resources to contribute 0.7% of its GNI to development aid.

Source: euractiv.com