Reports from all quarters allover the globe send a desperate situation of gloom and doom. Many more countries are slipping into recession; everyone trying to cut costs and the best way is by tightening the purses. Great economies of the world are no exception and with the kind of relations between them and the developing world, the end result is to cut aid. Where then are the poor of the world left and who are they abandoned for? Since the 90's international aid institutions introduced new aid modalities in a bid to accelerate development in most nations. The results over the years have been remarkable but still leave a lot more to be desired. Perfect examples of the modalities are the PRSPs and the Country Strategy Papers which aimed at addressing specific country needs and coming up with responsive strategies. Despite the well intended plans these policies have been wrapped up at the paper levels with almost nothing translated in real lives of citizens. The irony of all is that a lot of funds have been spent by governments and NGOs in travel and workshop costs but the impact is yet to be felt. As the world sinks into recession, the world poorest populations will suffer the most and gains that have been achieved in terms of global development will be definitely lost. Current trends in developing nations already indicate high child and maternal mortalities, HIV infection and AIDs related deaths, malaria and even the return of ailments like polio and cholera for which battles had been won in the last century. Food insecurity is at its highest and more taps are running dry not to mention the depletion of forest covers to sustain energy needs. With global fuel prices rising, the urban poor are resulting to the use of fire wood to fuel their needs thus accelerating environmental degradation around urban dwellings. There are massive job cuts as companies consider cutting costs meaning more people thrown out to the streets to join the millions already out there. The middle class population who form the majority in developing countries (most of whom rely on formal employment and businesses) are fast joining the lower cadres, so what about those who have lived below poverty lines? What then could donors focus on to cushion the world poor despite the need to tighten their purses? At the end of the game the debt burden is trickled down to the poor notwithstanding the fact that they are the hardest hit by economic hardships. If one goes round a village or a slum neighborhood, in Kenya, for example, and asks the people what their priorities are if they are to be helped, it would just be about the basics of basics; water, health care,food, security,housing,fuel and maybe education for their children (it is fast becoming a luxury than a necessity) Addressing these basics, as trivial as they may sound to bigger financiers, would in the long run amount to solving the 'bigger' issues like global warming and most of the outlined MDGs and other developmental jargons. Investing in effective energy sources, for example, solar energy and ensuring massive use by the poor populace will save the forests and thus address an environmental issue. Kenya has a foreign debt exceeding $6 billion and domestic debt of around $3.5 billion. Kenya's annual debt repayments currently consume more than 30 per cent of the annual budget. The budgeted allocation for debt repayments amounted to $1.3 billion in 2002. At the face of the crunch, the country is negotiating for a loan of up to $100 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cushion its currency from the global economic downturn and help counter a severe food crisis. What does this mean to the poor for whom the funds might never trickle down to considering the corruption and poor governance marring the country at the moment? More debts mean higher taxes, and who pays taxes anyway! Aid modalities at this rate, need therefore to be responsive to the basic needs of the poor and reflect an understanding of the determinants of poverty. There should also be a focus on sustainable livelihoods as opposed to handout emergency aid. Failure to cushion the poor at this rate will only amount to reversing the gains that have been achieved over the years and in the long run consume more resources and time frames not forgetting the lives that would be lost. Donors should now construct policies to enable them work directly with communities to address their immediate needs as opposed to direct government funding which, anyway might be reduced or stopped as the recession bites. Mary Robinson , the president of Realizing Rights, the Ethical Globalization Initiative (New York) and Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders once said “Aid is only effective if it achieves good development results and good development results are not possible if gender inequalities persist, environmental damage is accepted or human rights are abused”