Dutch prince criticises red tape in aid expenditure
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander says developing countries spend too much time gathering information for donor countries.16 April 2008
SOUTH AFRICA - Speaking in South Africa, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands has expressed criticism of the pressure on developing countries to account for the way they spend development aid.
He says poor countries are expected to provide extensive accounts of how aid is spent, and host frequent missions from donor countries, all of which takes time and money at the expense of the development of the very poorest.
According to the prince, this is because politicians in rich countries are under growing pressure from their electorates to keep tight controls on development aid expenditure.
He has no objection to this in principle, and believes governments should indeed take care how taxpayers' money is spent.
However, he says it means developing countries spend an excessive amount of time gathering information for donor countries. He is calling for international agreements to simplify procedures for developing countries to report on their aid expenditure.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]