Fundamental reforms are urgently needed at the British government-owned investment company which is supposed to reduce global poverty, UK-based international development agency Christian Aid says today.
The charity is also backing MPs’ call for independent evaluation of CDC Group plc, the former Commonwealth Development Corporation, whose official purpose is to reduce poverty by supporting private sector development.
Christian Aid’s warning follows an investigation by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, which found a remarkable lack of evidence about CDC’s impact on poverty.
Edward Leigh, chair of the PAC, says today (Thursday 30 April): "We need to know…how effective it is at reducing poverty and so far there is limited evidence."
Christian Aid policy manager, Alex Cobham, commented: "CDC is owned by the Department for International Development, which exists to reduce global poverty and yet it appears to have neglected to check on how CDC is affecting poor people’s lives.
"Both organisations’ central purpose is to tackle poverty and yet that urgent, important task appears to be an afterthought to development of the private sector."
Christian Aid says it believes that if CDC is to retain any credibility, it must systematically gather, independently audit and publicly report on its impacts on poverty, workers’ conditions, climate change and other key indicators of success.
The charity is also strongly supporting the Public Accounts Committee’s call for an independent evaluation of CDC’s impact.