Christian Aid seeks end to aid dependency

Christian Aid is calling upon the Government to come up with an exit strategy from aid dependency among developing countries.

Although the development agency said it would be wrong to withdraw aid completely, it believes that it would not be in the best interests of developing countries to remain dependent on aid.

The call came as it was announced that Andrew Mitchell would be switched from International Development Secretary to government chief whip in the Prime Minister's first Cabinet reshuffle.

Christian Aid Director Loretta Minghella praised Mr Mitchell's "courage and determination" in the face of difficult economic circumstances and pressure from within his own party to cut aid spending.

However, she said the next head of the Department for International Development (DFID) should start looking at ways of ending aid dependency.

"His determination and courage have helped protect the Government’s commitment to spending 0.7% of Gross National Income on overseas aid by 2013," she said.

"But we have been and remain impatient to see the Government go further, especially in helping to end aid dependency. Aid alone will never end poverty, so we’d like to see DFID implement a credible exit strategy from aid."

As part of that exit strategy, Christian Aid wants to see the Government use its global influence to address the structural causes of poverty, such as trade inequality between North and South, and taxation.

The development agency argues that developing countries are losing billions in unpaid tax by multinational corporations - money it says would provide valuable income if it were paid.

"That would help poor countries generate their own resources, not least through more successful tax collection, including action against tax-dodging multinationals," said Ms Minghella.

"This is what we will be pushing DFID on in the months and years to come."