And so it starts

We predicted a “quadruple whammy” for developing countries in the financial crisis. The value of existing aid commitments will fall; donors are less likely to meet those commitments; financing needs of developing countries have increased; and non-aid finance (such as investment and remittances) will fall.

The Irish Government is first up with aid cuts:

Taoiseeach Brian Cowen announced the cuts in the Dáil today as part of a plan to secure €2 billion in savings to the Exchequer. The Overseas Development Aid budget will be cut from €891 million to €796 million.

…  Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin and Minister of State for Overseas Development Peter Power defended the “difficult” decision. They said that despite the cuts, Ireland remains the sixth most generous donor internationally in per capita terms.

“The size of our aid programme is linked to our own economy, and specifically to GNP growth,” the ministers said in a joint statement.

The only thing that can be said in favour of Ireland’s announcement is that they are at least being open about their failure to meet their obligations. Other countries – namely:  Italy, Germany, Portugal, Greece and France – will not meet their international commitments either but have not had the guts to say so.

And CAFOD have estimated that the financial crisis will reduce UK aid by $41bn over 7 years. (There is no sign of the paper on their website, so here is a copy.)

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