#EndPovertyDay: Belgium second most efficient donor in the fight against extreme poverty

Belgium is the second most efficient donor in the fight against extreme poverty. This is the conclusion of the respected Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in their recent report: “Financing the end of extreme poverty”. Our country ranks right behind Ireland, but ahead of Scandinavian countries such as Norway, Sweden and Finland. The focus on least developed countries and the strengthening of aid effectiveness has been one of the priorities of the Belgian development cooperation policy over the last years.

Alexander De Croo, Minister for Development Cooperation: “On the international day for the Eradication of Poverty, let’s take a moment to look at the work we’ve done and the results we’ve achieved. The last few years, we have tilted the Belgian development cooperation policy in a new direction and we are happy to see this also lead to better results. It is a compliment to the work of all those turning the Belgian development cooperation policy into reality on the ground. It’s also an extra incentive to do even better in the coming years”.

The new ODI-index looks into how donor countries score in terms of aid effectiviness. Besides the choice for the least developed countries, it looks also into the efforts made by donor countries in sectors which are critical to eradicate extreme poverty such as education, heath, food security and social protection. Belgium didn’t score so well today by accident.

Choice for least developed countries
Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo made the explicit choice a few years ago to focus the efforts of the international cooperation policy on least developed countries and fragile states. Eleven out of the fourteen partner countries selected by Belgium in 2015 belong to the category of least developed countries. When it made this choice, our country was going against the tide at the international level.

The ODI report indicates that efforts must be stepped up if we want to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. More countries must, like Belgium, focus their efforts on the least developed countries. Middle-income countries have more options to finance their own development, for example through income tax, foreign investments and remittances.

Higher transparency
When comparing development efforts together with effectiveness, Belgium ranks 4th on the ODI index after Norway, Sweden and Denmark. A few weeks ago, it appeared that the Belgian development cooperation had also made a big leap forward in terms of transparency with one of the strongest progression on the 2018 Aid Transparency Index. While Belgium appeared at the bottom of the “weak” category in 2014, it now gets a spot in the category “good”. This transparency index shows to which extent donors communicate in a transparent manner on their development efforts.

Click here to read the full report Financing the end of extreme poverty.