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Aid Ownership Goes Beyond Government: Official

Demands from the donor community for “ownership” of development assistance go beyond the government, in order to ensure the proper use of aid money, a leading health organizer said.

“Country ownership means that citizens, civil society organizations, the private sector and the government must be the owners and work together to make sure that international assistance is effectively used,” Sin Somuny, executive director of Medicam, an umbrella group of health agencies, told VOA Khmer.

Oxfam America reported last week on effectiveness of US aid to Cambodia. The nine-page report, released in Washington, encourages ownership in Cambodia for US assistance.

Since the Paris Declaration, which was endorsed on March 2, 2005, by ministers, heads of agencies and other senior officials to demonstrate adherence and commitment to increased efforts in harmonizing, aligning and managing aid, in reality the practice has been slow, Sin Somuny said.

“What decisions, or what we really receive, is still moving forward slowly and requiring a lot of alteration. For instance, we have seen that some assistance goes wholly to the public sector, while other, like that of the US, goes to civil society organizations working in the health sector,” he said. “The question is, how we can link and harmonize engagement between beneficiaries and the service provider that is still not active?”