Governments can’t solve global problems alone, says aid minister

Governments should have a coordinating role in solving global problems and use aid budgets to ‘leverage private capital for development’, Dutch aid minister Ben Knapen told an international conference in The Hague on Wednesday.

‘Today’s problems cannot be solved by government or business alone. We need to work together – companies, governments, NGOs, knowledge institutions, and so on,’ Knapen told the meeting, a preparatory gathering in the run up to the United Nations conference on sustainable development which is being held in Rio in June.
‘In my view, government should play a coordinating role. To put it another way, it should be a broker in international responsibility. Not only by bringing different players together, but also by using the aid budget to leverage private capital for development,’ the minister said.
The Netherlands used to spend 0.8% of GDP on development aid but that was reduced to 0.7% by the current coalition. There are reports it may be cut to below 0.6% as the government seeks to find €9bn in savings.
The government has also refocused Dutch aid efforts on a smaller group of countries, which have ‘better alignment with Dutch expertise and interests.’
Full speech

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