Tuvalu’s representative to the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, Korea has called for more harmonisation of development assistance to developing countries.
Speaking at a plenary session on Managing Diversity and Reducing Fragmentation, Tuvalu’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Lotoala Metia said Tuvalu has a population of 10,000 but with only seven staff in the government’s planning office and one person in its Aid Management Unit.
Tuvalu has 58 development partners and the aid it receives is about 50% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“We need our development partners because our own options are limited. But from these development partners we receive approximately 900 development related visitors a year. This is nearly 10% of our total population arriving on the two international flights we have each year. These officials come to scope, consult, implement, evaluate, monitor, provide advice and so on,” said Hon Metia.
“Our development visitors all want to speak to me or other ministers, have input into policy, and meet and consult with our officials. All this is managed by our one aid coordination officer.
“These development visitors all come to Tuvalu in good faith, and we appreciate their desire, but the way they deliver their assistance is overwhelming our capacity to lead and effectively manage our own development,” Minister Hon. Metia told the international forum.
This year there are 87 projects in Tuvalu.
“This story unfortunately is not unique to Tuvalu. It is shared amongst many of our neighbouring Pacific island nations such as Niue, Kiribati and Nauru,” he says.
Meanwhile, greater accountability and better fiscal management are needed to achieve more inclusive growth in developing Asia-Pacific nations, Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda says.
“Making growth more inclusive will also require greater accountability, transparency, and participation of public institutions,” says. Kuroda. “Poor fiscal management undermines economic growth generally, which in turn puts inclusive growth out of reach.”
Kuroda was giving the opening remarks at a session on inclusive growth at the Korea Forum.
The major focus of the Busan forum is to reaffirm international commitments for achieving greater development effectiveness with a much broader group of stakeholders, which includes the private sector. Forum participants will discuss improvements to the way aid is delivered, building on the 2005 Paris Declaration and 2008 Accra Agenda for Action.