Commonwealth SG calls for action to unlock overseas development finance

(Photo via the Commonwealth Secretariat)
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The small states of the Commonwealth could be losing out on $4.5 billion of overseas development assistance, a preliminary Commonwealth Secretariat study has shown.

In response, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland will call for strategies to help small and vulnerable states improve their ability to effectively access and use development assistance.

The Secretary-General is due to speak in Washington at a conference of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank called Building Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change in the Caribbean on 26 November. She will lead a session on incentives and financing to build resilience.

Secretary-General Scotland said, “The Caribbean has been through testing and distressing times in recent years, with storms and hurricanes of unprecedented intensity causing widespread devastation. We commend the international community for rallying to provide support, and the affected countries for their practical resolve to build back better and stronger. But we have a lot of work to do to address inherent and systemic barriers to building resilience, such as debt, limited private financing and capacity constraints.”

She continued, “One key area we need urgently to improve is coordination among organisations and donors so countries are able to access and utilise financial assistance more swiftly through processes that are more streamlined. It is of great concern that a preliminary Commonwealth study shows that small and vulnerable states failed to utilise $4.5 billion of development assistance made available between 2010 and 2016.”

Read more at: Commonwealth News

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