Consultants Creaming $20b Off Global Aid Flows

The East African (Nairobi)
June 6, 2005
Posted to the web June 8, 2005

Paul Redfern

Two new reports published in the last fortnight in the UK have led to
serious questions about Western aid priorities ahead of the G8 summit
in July.

The first, a report by UK doctors
; registration for "The Lancet" required], said that the brain drain
of health professionals from Africa to Britain and the United States
was still continuing despite promises that it would be curbed.

For some African countries, notably Ghana and Malawi, it is now
believed that there are more Ghanaian and Malawian doctors in the UK
than there are in their own countries.

Moreover, while the National Health Service in the UK no longer
actively encourages health professionals from Africa to come to
Britain, the same cannot be said for the private sector.

The doctors' report said that medical professionals continue to
arrive in large numbers from South Africa, Zimbabwe Nigeria and Ghana
and to a lesser extent from Kenya and Tanzania.

They say that 31 per cent of practising doctors and 13 percent of
nurses were born outside the UK. The reason is the better wages and
conditions that Western hospitals offer. But the medical report
acknowledges that the brain drain of medical staff is devastating
poor African countries at a time when they need all those with
medical expertise to deal with the HIV/Aids situation.

The second report, from the UK aid agencies Action Aid and Oxfam,
said that a huge proportion of current Western aid spending was being
wasted or effectively recycled back to the donor country. France and
the United States are particularly bad examples of this, the report,
Millstone or Milestone
[], says.

It estimates that just eleven per cent of French aid is genuine and
of every $1 spent, 86 cents is phantom because it is largely tied to
the purchase of American goods and services. Overall, the report
said, of the G7 countries, aid only amounts to a minuscule 0.1 per
cent overall and would need a tenfold increase to hit the UN target.

The report has been heavily criticised but the World Bank gave weight
to its findings when it said that western consultants are creaming
off a staggering $20 billion from global aid budgets.

This amounts to around 40 per cent of the total of international
development assistance and the figure is $2billion up on last year.
The World Bank acknowledged last week that the consultants fees issue
"needs to be addressed."

The London-based World Development Movement said the issue was "shocking."
"It is also a backdoor route by the US and UK to force free market
policies, which have failed in so many poor countries," said Peter
Hardstaff, the head of policy.

Call on President Bush and Treasury Secretary Snow to Wipe out Debt
at the G-8 Summit!

American Friends Service Committee (Philadelphia)

June 3, 2005

National Call-in Days: June 7 and June 29

The summit of the G-8 will take place in Scotland from July 6-8.
Thanks to your efforts and campaigning over the years, additional
debt cancellation is on the agenda of G-8 leaders. But nations have
not yet reached an agreement, and a bold deal on debt is at risk of
being replaced by a limited approach.

The Bush administration needs to hear from you at three key moments
in the next month. They need to hear your call for a bold deal on
debt. For a deal to be worth celebrating, it must be for 100%
cancellation of all multilateral debts including the IMF, it must be
for all impoverished nations, and it must come without harmful
conditions that have been part of previous debt relief schemes.


Fill out a simple online letter to Treasury Secretary Snow on our
website at

Send the link to all your friends and family asking them to sign a letter

Help us deliver thousands of letters to Secretary Snow on June 23rd
as part of our National Africa Lobby Day. Contact us via email for
more information at <> or visit
our website at


The G-7 Finance Ministers (including our own Treasury Secretary John
Snow) will meet in London on June 10 - 11.

On June 7, call Treasury Secretary John Snow at 202-622-1100. You may
also send a FAX to 202-622-0073. When you call, ask that he:

Work with other G-7 Finance Ministers to agree on a deal for 100%
cancellation of debts owed by impoverished nations to the World Bank,
the IMF, and the African Development Fund.

It is critical that the IMF be included in a deal on debt as payments
to the institution represent one third of debt service payment by
poor nations over the next 5 years. Limited sale of IMF gold could be
combined with IMF reform to finance cancellation

The cancellation should include countries that are not part of the
HIPC Initiative like Nigeria, Haiti, and Sri Lanka, and it should not
be conditioned on harmful structural adjustment policies


On June 29, Jubilee USA Network, Africa Action, American Friends
Service Committee, and the 50 Years is Enough Network will gather
outside the White House in Lafayette Park to deliver thousands of
postcards calling on the President to Wipe Out Debt in 2005. While we
are outside, Jubilee and debt cancellation supporters should flood
the White House phone lines with a demand for a bold deal on debt.

On June 29, call the White House at 202-456-1111.
When you call, ask that President Bush:

Work with other G-8 leaders to announce a bold new deal on debt at
the G-8 summit.

A deal on debt cancellation must fully wipe out the debt - by
providing 100% cancellation of IMF, World Bank, and African
Development Fund debt owed by all impoverished nations.

Debt cancellation must not be conditioned upon economic conditions of any kind.


Join in Jubilee USA Network's postcard campaign to President Bush and
Secretary Snow.

There are three ways to take action:

Sign a postcard on-line at <>

Download a PDF version of the cards and print them out yourself - we
just need them back by June 25th.

Write a letter to the Editor or Op-Ed Writing a letter to the editor
is easy, and letters are an effective tool to reach people in your
community as well as decision-makers with our message. Visit
<> for tips and samples of
an effective Op-Ed or letter to the editor.

Stage your own local action You could organize a viewing of "Life and
Debt," stage a teach-in, or organize kids in a community or church
summer camp to do street theatre and draw local attention to the debt
and the G8 summit. Contact Roxanne Lawson for more summer action