12 Aug 2003

Forum head questions budget of some NGOs

5:51 pm on 12 August 2003

The outgoing Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Noel Levi, is questioning the way some aid money is now directed in the region.

He told the Forum officials meeting in Auckland that the first action needed was an audit to make sure the money being allocated was actually being spent in the donor countries.

But, he said the tendency to direct money straight to non-governmental organisations was usurping the role of the state.

"I know that some aid agencies have annual budgets that are double those of the key departments in Forum countries, who have the capacity to donate funds to non-governmental organisations that in recent years have expenditures surpassing the line departments or ministries in Forum island countries. The question is... what then is the role of the state?"

Mr Levi says that aid from the donor countries has not targeted individual and national institutional development.

He says this situation is a partial cause of some of the Pacific's problems and the responsibility had to be shared by donors.