EU aid slumps further according to the latest OECD DAC statistics
(Brussels, Paris 03/04/2013) As governments across Europe continue budget cuts, international aid to developing countries has fallen for two consecutive years, according to new figures released by the OECD today.
AidWatch, an aid monitoring initiative of Concord, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs calculates that this marks only the second cut since 1997 and risks ending support to millions of poor people across the world.
“European leaders are in a scramble to cut what they can, despite the very real damage this could do to the lives and livelihoods of the world’s poorest people. Aid has the support of the public in Europe but support to poor countries is being hit hard by cuts that balance the books on the back of the world’s poor”, says Zuzana Sladkova, AidWatch Coordinator of Concord.
NGOs forced to abandon aid projects on the ground
The biggest aid cut occurred in Spain where aid fell by 49.7% contributing to a 7.3% fall in aid from EU DAC members. The next biggest cutters were Italy (34.7%) and Greece (17%).
“Spanish development cooperation is being hit hard, sinking to its lowest levels in 22 years. This has resulted in Spanish NGOs pulling out of developing countries. 68% of NGOs have had to close some of their aid projects on the ground. This is axing life saving support to some of the poorest people in need’” says Mercedes Ruiz-Jimenez, President of Spanish NGO platform, Coordinadora.
Europe stumbling on aid targets ahead of 2015 deadline despite some positive signs
The UK recently announced it would be the first G8 nation to reach international aid targets.
“UK aid is making and will continue to make a huge difference to millions of people around the world- saving lives and creating opportunities for people to pull themselves out of poverty. Reaching the 0.7% target, and sticking to it until these global challenges have been met, is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. Living up to a promise we made to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people is something we can all be proud of.” says Amy Dodd, of the UK Aid Network (UKAN).
Notes to Editor:
1. CONCORD monitors European aid levels through AidWatch and compares official EU aid figures with the genuine amount of aid going to developing countries. The AidWatch report 2013 will be launched in September/October. For more information visit:http://aidwatch.concordeurope.org
2. The commitments: In 2005, the EU15 committed to give 0.51% of GNI at least by 2010 (with an average of 0.56%) and 0.7% by 2015. The 12 New member States committed to give 0.17% of GNI as aid by 2010 and 0.33% by 2015.
3. The OECD publishes every year Official Development Assistance statistics on European and international aid flows. Find their press release on the newest aid statistics here.
CONCORD AidWatch Coordinator, Zuzana Sladkova on +32 2 743 87 72 firstname.lastname@example.org
CONCORD is the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development. Its 27 national associations, 18 international networks and 2 associate members represent 1,800 NGOs which are supported by millions of citizens across Europe. CONCORD leads reflection and political actions and regularly engages in dialogue with the European institutions and other civil society organisations. At global level, CONCORD is actively involved in the Open Forum for CSO Development effectiveness, the Beyond 2015 campaign, BetterAid and the International Forum of NGO platforms. www.concordeurope.org.