Today, the people feel that money for development produces little results. Possibly there are two main reasons. Firstly, present crisis causes cuts in the budget of development cooperation. But therefore, the pursuit of a more effective policy is motivated. Secondly we need more and better communication about the achievements towards the people. This lack of attention can be explained by the apparent distance between development cooperation and the everyday concerns of many civilians.
Development cooperation is more than just moral obligation, it is about common interests. This must be applicable, even more in the current context of financial and economic crisis, where the disastrous consequences for the finances of our countries are a risk of losing the international solidarity.
It is inacceptable to restore our budgetary balance at the expense of the most vulnerable groups in society, which don’t live here but need our cooperation to save themselves.
Mr. Van Wassenhoven: People often say that development cooperation is pointless, nothing changes. But we ( everybody who is involved in development cooperation) are actually not the persons who will really change something. The only thing we can do is support, the local people and especially the politics are the ones who can really make the difference. Because at higher level we have no influence because these are economic and social politics.
Riots are a way to have a great influence by the people, for example with a dictatorship or when food prices are set to spiral. They respond to politics.
The reason is the economic politics of market speculation, even food prices are traded by speculation. One way or another, one day this will cause problems.
Inequality must be addressed as well. Nowadays large companies make sure that local farmers (often in poor countries) wear sackcloth and ashes.
The world leaders also have to look at the world trade because the way things are now heading, sooner or later it will go wrong, look at Greece for example.
In the poor countries unions have to start up to be a voice for the voiceless, poor people. In the nineteenth century the workmen were passive as well, but when they started to acquire wealth, they refused to let it go and because of this unions arose which wanted more and more power. Thus we need to give them time and space.