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Jargon Buster Directory  

The Central Source for all Jargon

Charity - Aid

Aid jargon is a very strange niche directory of jargon.  Who would have thought that 'aid' would have its own language.  It is so easy for the government officials to get involved who are often the first to inflict layers of jargon on any organisation.

Aid jargon is surely something that most ordinary people will never be searching for but you never know.

But now you are here, just take a look at this engulfing jargon dedicated to aid. Don't you just feel sorry for all the aid workers in this world.


Aid jargon.

AoA: Agreement on Agriculture. Trade rule on agriculture. Example of the double standards employed in trade negotiations. Subsidies were frozen at existing levels which in rich countries were very high but in poor countries were very low. Poor countries are therefore prevented from using subsidies effectively to protect their farmers while rich countries are able to continue subsidising theirs. #

AGOA: African Growth and Opportunity Act. Grants a number of African countries tariff-free access to US markets for a number of specified products. In order to qualify, African countries must meet certain conditions, including IMF/World Bank programmes and facilitating investment from US companies.

ATC: Agreement on Textiles and Clothing. Requires rich countries to remove quotas on imports of textiles and clothing. But rich countries are following the letter rather than the spirit of the agreement by reducing quotas on goods which other countries do not export.

CAFTA: Central America Free Trade Agreement. Agreement passed by the US government in July 2005. It will open up the gates between Central America - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. It builds on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and aims to bring Central America and the US into the same free trade area.

CAP: Common Agricultural Policy. EU policy covering tariffs, quotas and subsidies throughout the EU farming sector.

Cotonou Agreement: Will succeed the Lomé Convention . Covers relations (including trade) between the EU and former European colonies. Under the Lome convention poor countries were given access to EU markets without having to reciprocate but under the Cotonou Agreement that preferential treatment will be removed and poor countries will have to open up their markets to foreign competition.


Development Box: Proposal within the Agreement on Agriculture that would enable poor countries to maintain certain tariffs and subsidies in order to guarantee food security and fight poverty.

Doha: Location of the WTO ministerial meeting in November 2001.

Dumping: Exporting a product at a price lower than the cost of production.

Escalating Tariffs: Increasing tariffs according to the level of processing of a good, eg the tariff on chocolate being greater than the tariff on cocoa. Makes it hard for poor countries to benefit from processing raw materials.

EBA: Everything But Arms. Initiative to provide duty-free access into the EU for all exports, except arms, from theleast developed countries. However, following intense lobbying by businesses, import duties will now remain on sugar and rice until 2009, and on bananas until 2006.


EPA: Economic Partnership Agreements. New free-trade agreements being negotiated between the European Union and 77 former European colonies known as the African, Caribbean and Pacific group (ACP). EPAs are part of the Cotonou agreement – a much wider agreement that covers aid, trade and political cooperation between the two groups of countries.

EPZ: Export Processing Zones. Deregulated industrial zones introduced by poor countries to attract internationalinvestment. Imported materials are processed before being exported again. The problem for poor people is that the reason companies are attracted to them is that the usual environmental and labour standards do not apply there,and companies can enjoy long tax holidays. An example of the ‘race to the bottom’ where poor countries compete with each other to attract investment by offering less and less regulation.

Free Trade: Trade without intervention from governments. Prices and products are determined by market forces of supply and demand.

FTAA: Free Trade Area of the Americas. Builds on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and aims to bring Central and South American countries into the same free trade area.

G8: Group of Eight most powerful leaders in the world (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK and USA.) Decisions made at their annual summits can influence virtually any international summit or agreement in the world. The chair of the meeting rotates annually. The UK holds the Chair of the G8 in 2005.

G7: The Group of Seven most powerful leaders – as above, excluding Russia. The G7 Finance Ministers (including Gordon Brown from the UK) hold meetings without Russia who have less financial influence. The meetings are held in whichever country is host of the G8 for the year.

GATS: General Agreement on Trade in Services. One of the means by which rich countries are trying to force poor countries to open the provision of their services up to the free marke and international competition.

GATT: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Predecessor of the WTO. Originally a temporary agreement formed after the Second World War, following the collapse of the proposed International Trade Organisation in 1945, but continued until 1994. Negotiations under GATT were held in rounds. At first negotiations were restricted to reducing the level of tariffs on manufactured goods but over successive rounds the number of countries taking part increased and the scope of the negotiations broadened to include more aspects of trade. In the seventh and final rounds of GATT talks (known as the Uruguay Round) from 1986-1994, GATT was amalgamated into a new body called the World Trade Organisation with a much wider remit and the ability to enforce the rules.

GRA: Global Regulation Authority. A new body proposed by Christian Aid to assist governments, particularly those of poorer countries, regulate the activities of transnational corporations.

Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative (HIPC): Set up in 1996 by the World Bank and the IMF to provide debt relief to poor countries. In 1999, the G8 promised to cancel $100 billion of debt under the initiative, following extensive campaigning by organisations including Christian Aid.

IFI: International Financial Institution eg IMF and World Bank.

International Monetary Fund (IMF): Originally set up to give loans to countries to support the economy. However, since the 1980s has only given loans in return for countries agreeing to specific policies - which include liberalising trade.

Liberalisation: Reducing the role of government in an economy leaving it to market forces. Liberalisation is the progression towards a system of free trade.

Lomé Convention: Covers relations (including trade) between the EU and former European colonies. Being re-negotiated under the new name of the Cotonou Agreement.

MAI: Multilateral Agreement on Investment. An attempt by the OECD countries to push through an international agreement that would have forced countries to remove government regulation of investment and treat all investors equally, whether domestic or foreign. The UK government was a strong proponent, but the initiative failed due to a strong international campaign by people concerned about the effects it would have on poor people and the environment.

MDGs: Millennium Development Goals. Targets which were agreed by heads of state and governments at the UN in 2000. They include the aim to halve world poverty by 2015.

NTB: Non-Tariff Barrier. Barrier to trade other than a quota or a tariff, eg unnecessary health and safety standards.

OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. A group of the world’s richest nations (including more countries than the G8).

Protection: Using tools such as tariffs and quotas to protect local industries.

PRSP: Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. A paper a country must produce in order to receive financial assistance from the World Bank and IMF. The name makes it sound better than it is!

Quad: Powerful grouping of key figures in the governments of the European Union, Canada, Japan and USA who between them dominate international trade.

Quota: Limits to the quantity of a particular product that can be imported into a country. Volumes in excess of the quota are either not allowed or face heavy taxes.

RTA: Regional Trade Agreement. An agreement to reduce trade barriers between specific groups of countries, eg the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) agreed between the US, Mexico and Canada.

SAP: Structural Adjustment Programme. Economic liberalisation package imposed upon developing countries by the IMF and World Bank as preconditions for financial assistance.

Subsidy: Support provided for traders for reasons such as developing new industries or maintaining employment. Might be a straightforward grant, or could be something like a tax exemption.

TNC: Transnational Corporation. Company whose operations extend beyond the boundaries of the country in which it is registered.

Tariff: Tax imposed on imports and exports. Can be an important source of revenue for a government. Can also be used to make imports more expensive in comparison to locally produced goods, protecting local traders.

Trade Round: A major programme of WTO negotiations on a range of issues.

TRIPS: Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. Trade rule covering ownership of knowledge. Can guarantee companies exclusive international rights to new inventions and discoveries for up to twenty years.

TRIMS: Agreement on Trade Related Investment Measures. Trade rule covering foreign investment. Threatens the ability of poor country governments to make the most of foreign investment for poverty reduction by limiting their right to influence what form of investment takes place, when and where.

UNCTAD: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. An organisation set up in 1964 following dissatisfaction with GATT. Researches the impact of trade liberalisation on poverty.

Uruguay Round: Final round of GATT negotiations. Led to the establishment of the WTO.

World Bank: Set up to give loans to countries for development projects. Since the 1980s has only given loans in return for countries agreeing to specific policies - which include liberalising trade #

WEF: World Economic Forum An influential meeting of world leaders, academics and business people that takes place every year. Traditionally held in Davos, Switzerland.

WTO: World Trade Organisation Formed in 1995, replacing its predecessor GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). The secretariat facilitates the writing and enforcement of international trade rules. It is headed up by the Director-General of the WTO (Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi from September 2002; previously Mr Mike Moore). Trade rules themselves are agreed by the member countries. The WTO staff facilitate the process. At the time of writing there are 144 member countries.

WTO Ministerial Conference: The ultimate governing body of the World Trade Organisation. Attended by the trade ministers and/or other senior representatives of all member countries that are able to send someone. Meetings take place every two years. In 1999 they met in Seattle, and in 2001 in Doha, on the Persian Gulf.





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