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Development partners pledge more support

Development Partners have pledged to increase official development assistance (ODA) to the least developed countries (LCDs) through the Istanbul Programme of Action and other international agreements.

Malawi is among the 48 LCDs in the World.

Development partners reaffirmed their commitment through a political declaration made at the end of a three day comprehensive high level midterm review of the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) in Antalya, Turkey.

“ODA providers reaffirm their respective commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) for ODA to the Least Developed Countries.

“We are encouraged by those few countries that have met or surpassed their commitment to 0.7 percent of GNI to ODA and the target of 0.15 to 0.20 percent of GNI for ODA to the LCDs,” indicates the political declaration.

The global leaders also urged other developed countries to step up efforts to increase their ODA and to make additional concrete efforts towards their targets.

European Union and Turkey are some of the development partners pledged to increase their official development assistance to LCDs.

Some of the recommendations in the political declaration are in the areas of infrastructure and energy, agriculture, food security, nutrition and rural development, trade and investment, good governance at all levels, human and social development, children and youth, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

Commenting on the Istanbul Programme of Action, Member of Parliament for Mzimba North Agnes Makonda Ridley who was representing the Malawi Parliament at the meeting, urged the country to take the initiative seriously.

She said for Malawi to graduate from LCDs, there is need to have an honest dialogue about corruption, and strengthen governance structures.

“When I look at the amount of investment that has come from different countries either as aid or through trade, we have received just as much as most other countries that are progressing. But we haven’t taken advantage of that fully to develop because a lot of resources that come in are diverted to other projects,” she said.

Speaking during the closing ceremony, Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to UN and Chairperson of the Global Coordination Bureau for LCDs said they were encouraged by the agreement of the political declaration of the midterm review.

“We the LCDs have made a strong commitment to create a domestic enabling environment for business and investment,” he said.

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