Press release

Christian Aid calls out 'dangerous' over-reliance on private sector finance for development

As Davos draws to an end, Christian Aid is warning against the blinkered attention many governments and institutions such as the World Bank continue to place on mobilising global private finance to deliver the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
In a policy briefing launched today, the charity cautions against the ‘private first’ approach to development, urging donors and civil society to reject the idea that harnessing global capital is the only solution to financing the SDGs.

Toby Quantrill, Global Lead on Economic justice at Christian Aid said: ‘As the world’s super-rich descend from their mountain retreat in Davos, congratulating themselves on putting the world to rights, we must ask ourselves why the solutions they favour always seem to involve further opportunities for their own enrichment, and whether these really are the best solutions for everyone.
 ‘While private sector finance certainly has an important role to play in funding sustainable development, we question whether it can deliver anywhere near the quantity, or quality, of support that poor countries need. At the same time, there are significant risks attached, including tax dodging, environmental destruction and the threat of even more harmful debt for low-income countries.
‘What’s more, we are increasingly seeing public money and public resources being used to facilitate opportunities for investors, when it could - and should - be used in ways that guarantee more direct benefit to those most in need.’
Mr Quantrill continued: ‘At Christian Aid, we believe that the global focus on private finance to support development objectives is a clear indicator that the profit motives of the rich and powerful continue to be prioritised ahead of the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people.’
‘Instead, if we are truly serious about leaving no-one behind and creating a fairer global economy, we need a radically different and rebalanced financial system; one that ensures that the very poorest are included and actively supported to thrive, and in which developing countries have an equal say in making the rules governing the global economy.
‘This will require a huge shift in the way that those who hold economic and political power are permitted to use that power. Only then will our economies work better for the good of all, rather than an elite minority.’
The briefing, ‘Financing Injustice’ is available to download here


1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task. 

3. Christian Aid is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. 

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit