Rising war and arms spending in Ukraine undermines development aid to the world’s poor TOU

Rising war and arms spending in Ukraine undermines development aid to the world’s poor


Rising war and arms spending in Ukraine undermines development aid to the world’s poor

Armed Conflict, Crime and Justice, Featured, Food and Agriculture, Global, Global Geopolitics, Headlines, Human Rights, Humanitarian Crisis, Migration and Refugees, Peace, Poverty and SDGs, TeraViva United Nations

In Tanzania, workers at the port of Dar es Salaam are loading bags of wheat onto trucks. Q. Dongyu, head of the Food and Agriculture Organization, said global food prices had reached “new all-time highs”, hurting the poorest of the poor. 8 April 2022. Credit: FAO / Giuseppe Bizarre

United Nations, April 15, 2022 (IPS) – The unprecedented influx of weapons into Ukraine, and rising military spending by European nations to strengthen their defenses, threatens to undermine development aid to the world’s poorest nations.

Yok Ling, executive director of the Third World Network, told IPS that rising military spending will inevitably have a direct impact on the range of expenditures the North has committed to developing countries – from official development assistance (ODA) to climate finance, “he said. Legal liability under treaties ”.

Even before the Russian-Ukrainian war, she noted, northern development was reducing lending. “Therefore, we expect regression to get worse,” she added.

A UN report, titled Credit for 2022 Sustainable Development Report: Bridge to the Finance Divide Says the record growth of Authorized Development AssistanceIn 2020, it reached an all-time high of $ 161.2 billion.

“Nevertheless, 13 countries have reduced ODA, and the amount remains insufficient to meet the huge needs of developing countries.”

The UN also fears that “the consequences of the crisis in Ukraine, the increase in spending on refugees in Europe, could mean a cut in aid to poor countries”.

In the face of the global crisis, immediate action and additional international support are needed to prevent a debt crisis and address the high cost of borrowing, the report warns.

“However, most developing countries will need active and immediate support to get back on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs).

The report estimates that the poorest countries will need a 20 per cent increase in spending for key sectors.

A March 29 New York Times report across Europe and Britain stated that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was reshaping spending priorities and forcing governments to be prepared for the long-buried dangers – from floods of European refugees to potential use of chemicals. , Biological and even nuclear weapons by the Russian leader who can feel the back of a corner.

“The result is a sudden reshuffle in the budget as essential items such as military spending, agriculture and energy and humanitarian aid are pushed to the line, with other essentials like education and social services likely to be downgraded,” the Times said.

Frederick Mousso, policy director at the Auckland Institute, told IPS that “while the combination of drought and conflict is causing massive human suffering and starvation in a number of countries, the UN’s humanitarian appeal for this acute crisis has long been under-funded.”

Last year, he noted, only 45% of the UN appeals for Yemen and the Horn of Africa were funded, and only 29% for Syria. With such flaws in the midst of the war on Ukraine, it is important that all donor countries ensure their unity and support is focused on all victims.

An increase in the military budget in Europe will automatically lead to higher sales for major Western arms exporters, namely the USA, France and Germany.

Industrial-military complexes increase economic returns for these countries and intensify conflicts around the world. In 2021, Yemen needed the second-largest humanitarian aid, while Saudi Arabia, waging war on the country, is the first importer of weapons from the West.

It remains to be seen, however, how the war in Ukraine will affect the real aid budget.

“But regardless of what happens in Europe, one major issue that undermines our ability to promote peace and stability in the world – and reduces the need for international assistance – is the US military budget, which continues to grow under the Biden administration.” Time record of $ 813 billion a year ”.

This is more than the combined cost of the next eleven countries, Mousso noted.

“The USA is not only the largest military budget in the world, it is also the largest arms exporter and coincidentally the largest donor. US international aid, however, accounts for only 4% of US military spending. Change is needed ‘, he declared.

Vitalis Meja, executive director of Reality of Aid Africa, told IPS: “We support the humanitarian efforts of the Ukrainian people and remain in solidarity with them. However, we believe that donors should still meet their other obligations on the other global wars of poverty and the climate crisis on humanity.

It is particularly important for Africa that the ODA focus on catalyzing growth and addressing climate change crises and growing inequalities.

“Donors should allocate additional resources to Ukraine and not just by shifting military aid or budget items and priorities from other global development challenges in response to the war in Ukraine.”

The key is that donors, without diversifying resources, should focus on building and strengthening Africa’s resilience in times of this harsh climate change and mass crop failure.

“They must secure sustainable climate finance and development resources to address growing cases of inequality, extreme hunger and poverty in this part of the work.”

This is our war and it remains important and relevant. He should fight aggressively and win, Meja declared.

Jennifer del Rosario-Malonzo, Executive Director, IBON International, told IPS: “We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine who are suffering from the effects of the war. The rights and needs of the people – in Ukraine, in Asia and in the rest of the global South – should take precedence over military spending.

If some developed countries today are lavish with their arms spending and military budgets, while their “humanitarian” response includes cuts from other aid programs, do they say security interests come before long-term, public needs? She asked.

Outside of the Ukraine war, developed countries have broken their promise to provide USD 100 billion in climate finance by 2020.

The development aid budget and the sacrifice of climate finance will deepen poverty, inequality, the effects of adverse climate and the exclusion felt in the global south. Lack of ambition here risks exacerbating economic and political grievances at the root of armed conflicts in Asia and elsewhere.

Unity and justice call for ambition today. In addition to providing new funding for the needs of the people in Ukraine, we challenge developed countries to meet their existing aid commitments (minimum 0.7% of GNI as ODA). We call for new and additional grant-based climate finance to compensate the people and communities most affected by the damage and loss caused by climate change.

Meanwhile, the UN report on sustainable development lending also points out that while rich countries were able to support their epidemic recovery with record amounts borrowed at extremely low interest rates, the poorest countries spent billions in debt, investing them in sustainable development. Stopped. .

“The epidemic shook another 77 million people into extreme poverty in 2021, and by the end of the year many economies fell below pre-2019 levels.”

The report estimates that the GDP per capita of 1 in 5 developing countries will not return to 2019 levels by the end of 2023, even before Ukraine absorbs the effects of the war.

“We are approaching the halfway point of financing the world’s sustainable development goals, the findings are worrying,” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed.

“There is no excuse for inaction at this crucial moment of collective responsibility, to ensure that millions are lifted out of hunger and poverty. We must invest in decent and green jobs, social security, healthcare and education, leaving no one behind,” she warned. To give.

IPS UN Office Report

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