THE Council of Ministers’ Overseas Aid Committee, responsible for the provision of overseas development funding and emergency aid, will undergo a ‘significant transition’ in 2013, including a change of name.
The rebranded International Development Committee is to have a shifted emphasis in how the Isle of Man supports the world’s less developed nations.
The change includes the end of financial aid to India, reflecting that country’s improved economic status.
Part of the focus for the rebranded committee will be to establish long-term partnership agreements to assist countries ranked as ‘low’ on the UN Human Development Index, to help those in poverty become more self-sufficient and less dependent on foreign aid.
This will include funding for education, training and capacity building programmes and providing access to the island’s technical expertise in key areas such as finance and fisheries.
Phil Gawne MHK, chairman of the International Development Committee, said: ‘Funding from the Isle of Man is continuing to make a genuine difference to people’s lives and also reinforces our reputation as an internationally responsible country.
‘One project we are looking to support is a sustainable fisheries management programme in Sierra Leone, in conjunction with other major stakeholders such as the World Bank.’
He added: ‘The Isle of Man already has strong links with this country and last year gifted a fisheries protection vessel to the Sierra Leonean authorities. A great deal of work still needs to be done before this initiative can be taken forward, but there is an opportunity to enhance our support through the provision of technical assistance, personnel and training.’
Commenting on the committee’s change of name, Mr Gawne added: ‘This is in keeping with the terminology of modern aid organisations such as the UK’s Department for International Development and the US Agency for International Development and better reflects the work we do.’
The island’s International Development Committee is responsible for a budget of £2.4million, which is currently used to fund small grants, multi-year projects and donations to disaster and emergency appeals.
Programmes supported must seek to address the Millennium Development Goals, which are to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability and develop a global partnership for development.