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Monday, 10 April 2017

Aid for Trade Review: Prioritising inclusiveness and sustainability

DEVCO announced that the EU’s Aid for Trade Strategy “is currently being revised to improve complementarity between trade and development policies and increase the effectiveness of Aid for Trade on least developed countries (LDCs) in particular”.[i] Aid for Trade (AfT) is part of Official Development Assistance (ODA) related to improving countries’ capacity to trade and comprises five categories. Given that Aid for Trade represents a third of the official development assistance of the EU and its Member States, the review offers an important opportunity to ensure that this public money is channelled not only towards economic sectors but also to areas where it could reduce inequality and improve the distribution of gains from trade. The Joint Strategy on Aid for Trade from 2007 includes the following key goals: implement the commitment by EU Member States and the European Commission to collectively spend €2 billion annually on Trade-Related Assistance by 2010;enhance the pro-poor focus and the quality of EU Aid for Trade; build upon, foster and support regional integration processes through Aid for Trade, including within African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries; increase EU-wide and Member States' capacity in line with the globally agreed aid effectiveness principles; support effective Aid for Trade monitoring and reporting.The international community took into account worrying challenges including climate change, increasing inequality, the increasing precariousness of work, and a shrinking space for civil society in many countries and adopted two landmark commitments in 2015: the Agenda 2030 (the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. However, many policies including the EU trade and investment policy and the EU development policy still need fundamental reform if they are to contribute to the goals laid out in these two global agreements. The ITUC and ActionAid consider that these 10-year-old objectives remain valid today, but could be usefully complemented. The present submission outlines recommendations on the AfT review aiming at updating the AfT to address current challenges and complement the currently predominant emphasis on economic indicators by incorporating social, environmental, and governance actions.

Source: Actionaid