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Tackling corruption through more effective aid

Every year, billions of pounds of development aid is spent propping up public services in extractives-rich but corruption-ridden states. Meanwhile, weak governance systems and legal impunity are exploited for private gain by corrupt officials and predatory extractives companies. Many of these countries could be economically independent. Instead, they are overwhelmingly poor and reliant on donor aid. The domestic natural resource wealth that should be the primary source of development funding is then lost for those who need and deserve it most; or worse, used to finance conflicts and human rights abuses.

Over the past 20 years, GW has worked on the nexus between corruption and natural resources, often calling on donors to take action to prevent or react to the ‘resource curse’. While the nature of donor aid and influence has changed dramatically over this time, one persistent theme of their engagement in the extractives sector has emerged: donors have no clear or consistent strategy and are reluctant to use their leverage to address the issue.

Global Witness believes aid donors should do much more tackle grand corruption in the extractives sector—through more effective aid and consistent political pressure—so that natural resource wealth benefits citizens in an equitable and sustainable way.

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