Ensuring global aid security

Body: 

Commenting on BBC allegations about 1984 Ethiopian famine aid being diverted to fuel conflict, Simon Barrow, co-director of the think-tank Ekklesia, which cooperates with a number of development NGOs, said:

"Obviously the kind of claims made recently about misdirection of some assistance funds in the 1984 Ethiopian famine need to be examined carefully. In doing so, it is vital that reporters and researchers take a balanced and contextual approach.

"It should be noted that Christian Aid and Band Aid have now strongly rejected the allegations made on the BBC, drawing on the testimony of someone who was on-the-spot where the misdirection of aid was alleged to have taken place.

"It is very important that those presently contributing to assistance for Haiti, Chile and other emergencies should realise that, over the past 25 years, the degree and quality of aid monitoring has improved enormously.

"The major NGOs and international agencies work very hard to ensure that assistance reaches its intended recipients, often in the face of massive logistical and political obstructions.

"The work of anti-corruption agencies and initiatives also remains crucial in calling global aid, trade, finance and governance mechanisms to account."