AidWatch report shows EU aid quality improving but a better focus on poverty eradication needed

‘Special AidWatch Report on the post-Busan development effectiveness agenda’
EU aid quality making progress, but more focus on poverty eradication needed AidWatch report shows
(Brussels, 28/11/2012) The quality of EU aid programmes* to developing countries can further improve and more funding can be better delivered to the poor, shows the latest AidWatch report published today by Concord, the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development
The report comes on the eve of the anniversary of last year’s international aid summit in Busan, South Korea, where the EU signed up to a global agreement to make development cooperation more effective.
Quality of EU aid
“The quality of EU aid is as important as its quantity. Good quality EU aid empowers people, improves health and education systems, drives equitable growth, alleviates poverty, and builds more effective and accountable states. For many poor and vulnerable people, the question of whether EU aid is effective and actually reaches them is a question of survival,” says Paulina Saares, member of AidWatch and Finnish NGO network Kepa.
Coordination between 28 donors
“The 27 EU states and the European Commission each have their own aid programmes, a situation which this report shows is creating expensive bureaucracy and unnecessary duplication increasing the costs of administration for recipient countries. Better coordination between the Commission and Member States could greatly improve aid quality,” says Luca De Fraia, member of AidWatch and ActionAid Italy.
Aid tying: limiting results
“Formal and informal aid tying reduces the amount of aid that can honestly be called an actual and sustainable financial transfer to developing countries which weakens the focus on poverty eradication as aid allocation remains distorted by non-development objectives and other domestic interests. Despite many EU Member States’ fully untying aid over the last decade, six countries continue to tie 30% of their aid,” says Amy Dodd, member of AidWatch and UK Aid Network (UKAN).
Notes to editors
1. EU aid progammes refer to those of both Member States and the European Commission.
2. What is tied aid? Tied aid is aid that is given on the condition that the recipient will use it to purchase goods and services from suppliers based in the donor country.
3. AidWatch is a group of European aid experts from members of the European Confederation for Relief and Development (CONCORD), which represents more than 1,600 European NGOs. The group publishes an annual scorecard holding the 27 EU member states and the European Commission to account on their aid commitments and charting their progress towards aid targets.
4. Aid Effectiveness targets missed: The report finds that provider countries met only one in 13 aid targets that were due in 2010. Progress was very uneven across EU providers: Denmark scored best and met targets, while Belgium and Luxemburg met only one target each. Recipient countries made more progress and effort in implementation than providers, and that donors progress has slowed down since 2007, and has even been reversed in some areas..