NGOs say the financial crisis is being used to sidestep international development commitments.

The EU gives €53billion a year in development aid, but last year EU states began a series of major cuts with 11 slashing aid budgets.

Just last week 4 EU states; the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Luxembourg set up a new G07 club of countries to champion overseas aid commitments: http://g07.org/

Yet some 18 EU countries, including France and Germany, are far off track in meeting their United Nations development aid targets.

From Olivier Consolo, Concord Director:

“Even in times of economic crisis, many European countries have shown that it’s possible to keep their aid promise to the world’s poorest. 9 EU countries have managed to meet aid targets, even when experiencing financial difficulty.

EU leaders must realise that global poverty is still the world’s biggest problem. Unfortunately several EU countries are cutting aid at a time when developing countries need it most. Larger countries like France and Germany need to step up their game and not shy away from their commitments.

By giving just 0.7% of national GNI to development aid, vital support can make a huge difference to the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people. At the same time, we also encourage EU governments to make their aid more effective, transparent to citizens and achieve better results on the ground.”