Caritas: Aid to Africa Should Be More Effective

NAIROBI, Kenya, AUG. 25, 2008 ( Caritas and representatives of the Church in Africa will be appealing to international organizations not just for aid for Africa, but for aid that is effective.

The international charity organization will be at the negotiating table in Accra, Ghana, for the Third High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held Sept. 2-4.

After a May meeting, the Church in Africa, represented by the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences in Africa and Madagascar, joined with the All Africa Conference of Churches to make a joint ecumenical statement appealing for aid to be distributed in more effective ways.

The Christian leaders are encouraging more decision-making power delegated to local communities regarding the way money is spent. They are appealing for an end to conditions placed by governments and institutions when they donate aid.

The ecumenical statement quoted studies that show half of all aid is tied to technical assistance and supply driven. It noted the continued militarization of aid and the promotion of consumer culture at the expense of sustainable development.

“The Accra process,” the statement concluded, “must be a step forward in the journey for Africans to stand with pride, with no begging bowls in their hands, but with bowls in our hands ready to contribute to help others around the globe.”