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The African Churches and Caritas will be at the negotiating table in Accra to influence the aid donor and recipient government officials and international organizations for better aid effectiveness. Credits: Caritas

The African Churches and Caritas will be at the negotiating table in Accra to influence the aid donor and recipient government officials and international organizations for better aid effectiveness. Credits: Caritas

About 29,000 children under the age of five die every day, that’s 21 each minute, mainly from preventable causes.

Caritas has joined African Churches and international faith based organisations to say that we can do something about this by using aid as a hand up rather than a hand out.

The power to do that partly lies with over 800 representatives of multilateral and bilateral donors, developing country governments, and civil society organisations who will be attending a key meeting on how aid is spent in Accra, Ghana from 2 to 4 September.

Delegates arriving in Accra need look no further than their doorstep to see how aid can change lives if used wisely. Ghana is successfully implementing a national school feeding programme using locally produced foods.

The Caritas Internationalis Delegation to the Accra High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness is being headed by René Grotenhuis, Director of Cordaid (Caritas Netherlands) and includes Caritas staff from our members in Zambia, Uganda, Ireland, England and Wales, and others.

It’s part of a wider effort by Christian Churches in Africa and faith based organisations to lobby for poor people to be made the driving force of their own development, for northern donors to stop tying aid to measures that benefit themselves over the poor people they say they’re trying to help, and to end the harmful conditions placed on aid.

The coalition includes Caritas Internationalis, the Symposium of Episcopal Conference in Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), the International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE), and ACT Development.

Catholic and Protestant African Churches along with international faith-based networks have organized an ecumenical worship service on 31 August, and a workshop on accountability in the use of resources for development with examples from Zambia, Congo-Brazzaville, and Uganda on 1 September.