'Foreign Ministry needs guidelines for giving aid'

Body charged within managing aid bringing Israeli companies into seminars, helping them get contacts, Comptroller report shows.

Israeli Doctors in Japan (photo credit: Reuters/Kyodo)
Israeli Doctors in Japan
(photo credit: Reuters/Kyodo)
The Foreign Ministry needs to develop firm guidelines regulating its partnership with the private sector in providing foreign aid, the comptroller wrote in a follow-up to a 2004 report on the workings of Mashav.
Mashav is the body charged with managing and assisting Israeli foreign aid to developing countries. The aid is primarily in the spheres of agriculture, health, education, the empowerment of women and community and business development.
The body also provides humanitarian aid after disasters that do not necessitate the involvement of the IDF.
Mashav’s aid is generally through running training seminars either here, or in the host countries. In recent years there has been a trend toward increasingly involving the private sector, a program called Private Public Partnership. The effort brings private Israeli companies into the seminars, helping them gain contacts abroad and pinpoint entrepreneurial prospects.
According to the comptroller, this is liable to blur the lines between humanitarian aid and private entrepreneurship, and there was a critical need for the ministry to draw up clear guidelines and boundaries.
The report also stated that Israel presently contributed less than the .07 percent of its GNP that it needed to according to the guidelines of the OECD, which it joined last September. The report pointed out that Mashav has recommended that this level be raised to the .17% level asked of all countries joining the EU.
The report also said that from the period 2008-2010 there were less “mobile seminars” and long-term emissaries sent abroad to train people in developing countries than there were during the 2001-2003 period. At the same time, the number of seminars held inside Israel did remain constant.