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Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto urged donor partners to sustain and increase official development assistance (ODA) to developing countries amid the global economic crisis.

Speaking at the recent Asia-Europe Meeting Development Summit on Sustainable Development at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Makati City, he renewed the "call for a sustained and increased ODA from developed countries, not despite but because of, the global economic crisis."

Recto, who is also Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), added that the ASEM could be a venue for donor partners to "reassure developing countries that our development partners will indeed deliver even more in these extraordinary times"

He reminded them of the commitment put forward in Beijing and at the Millennium Summit in New York in 2000, as well as various international meetings last year. "Developed countries committed to allot at least 0.7 percent of gross national income for ODA, but many nations have yet to deliver on this target," Recto said.

The NEDA official said developing countries like the Philippines are concerned that ODA will soon begin to dry up as more donor countries are pressured to spend funds domestically for fiscal stimulus programs.

"Past experience shows that ODA levels are easily affected by economic cycles, and since a number of economies appear to be near or at the bottom of that cycle, we are concerned that ODA from development partners such as Japan and Europe will become scarcer. The stimulus packages that Japan and many European countries recently passed could also divert funds for ODA towards domestic spending," Recto said.

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