Will private sector money radically transform development?


One of the buzzwords at the recently concluded Financing for Development (FFD3) conference in Addis was ‘partnership’. At just one side event, hosted by the One Campaign, 30 speakers mentioned the word 34 times in just two hours.

At the International Business Forum, held in parallel to FFD3, the conference secretary-general, Wu Hungbo said that if the international community wanted to achieve sustainable development on a global scale in this generation, strengthened public-private partnerships (PPP) and private finances would be indispensable. “There is an urgent necessity to attract long-term private investment into critical areas such as infrastructure, education, agriculture and the financing of micro and smaller enterprises,” Wu said.

But the focus on PPP and private finance has come under criticism from civil society organisations. The UK’s TUC, which participated in the Addis conference as part of the International Trade Union Confederation, wrote: “FFD3 placed excessive faith in the role of private finance in sustainable development, especially, in its reliance on public-private partnerships, without recommending appropriate, adequate, specific and binding safeguards including strict compliance with internationally recognised core labour standards and/or environmental standards.”

Continue reading at: The Guardian

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