When rich countries give aid or debt relief, they usually ask for a set of conditions to be met by the recipient. Make Poverty History believes that some conditions are necessary to make sure that aid and debt relief funds are spent on poverty reduction, and are accounted for properly. But often rich countries go much further, and demand that poor countries implement a whole raft of economic policies, such as water privatization and free trade, in exchange for aid and debt relief. Such 'policy conditions' are undemocratic, and have often hurt rather than helped poor people. Make Poverty History believes that donors should stop imposing these damaging policy conditions.
At the G8, world leaders acknowledged that policies should be determined by recipient countries, not donors. This was a step forward, and was welcomed by Make Poverty History. But words are not enough. All eyes will now be on the Autumn Meetings of the World Bank and IMF at the end of September to make sure these words are turned into action.