On the 22nd of November the AidWatch working group (AWWG) within Malta’s NGDO platform SKOP organized the annual Aid Watch (AW) seminar on Overseas Development Assistance (ODA). The aim of the Seminar was to build up a new dialogue and bring about a structured approach to the collaboration between Government, political representatives and CSOs with regards to Development Aid policies and instruments. Moreover the need of reviewing Malta’s National ODA policy, together with the need of a strategic plan and an annual action plan were discussed.
During the Seminar the official launch of the CONCORD AidWatch Report on ODA took place.
This year’s AidWatch study on Malta’s ODA (Overseas Development Assistance) concluded that 87% of the current figure (0.33% of GNI) is inflated aid. In light of the 2015 deadline set for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Malta is officially on its way to reach the target of contributing 0.33% of its GNI to ODA, but the results of this study put the authenticity of this figure in question.
During the SKOP event, it was pointed out that while Malta’s transition from a recipient to a beneficiary country cannot be underestimated, the current strategy is reactive and neglects the possible contribution in expertise the country can give to developing small states.
Transparency was also an issue when it comes to reporting ODA. Until 2007, there was no data on how much was being spent on multilateral and bilateral aid. Government representatives reassured the participants that this issue has been tackled by successive governments, who have consulted experts and critics of the current system to try and improve it. AidWatch recommended joining the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), as an important step towards more transparency.
A major concern expressed by AidWatch and civil society in general was the reporting of refugee costs as ODA. The detention of refugees, that is in itself a violation of human rights and a breach of international law, can hardly be considered as a contribution to those objectives.
Photo: Plenary during the seminar (by SKOP).
For more information please contact Paola Prinzis at email@example.com
Information provided by Paola Prinzis, SKOP