Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development, set a fresh, bold direction for the UK’s aid agency, the Department for International Development, on Monday. In a speech at an event co-hosted by Business Action for Africa and the Overseas Development Institute, he pointed out that economic growth has accounted for 80% of poverty reduction around the world since 1980, helping as many as half a billion people to lift themselves out of poverty.
He also recognised the important role that the private sector has to play in helping developing countries grow and fight poverty – investing, creating jobs and increasing poor people’s access to affordable goods and services.
The words are a breadth of fresh air, and the task now is to ensure that they are reflected right across DFID – its priorities, programmes and structures – as well as across the development community as a whole.
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