(Brussels, 12 May 2016) Aid figures published ahead of today’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting showed that the EU is still failing to live up to commitments made more than 10 years ago.
The data, which is included in an annual report prepared for this meeting, showed that the EU is only dedicating 0.47% of GNI to its aid budgets, falling far short of the 0.7% promise. Even more worryingly, at least 12.5% of that aid was spent in EU countries.
EU leaders have also failed to address the growing trend of EU Member States diverting aid from projects in poor countries to cover costs at home, for example domestic expenditure related to the handling of the large-scale migration flows in some EU countries. It is a moral and legal duty to help refugees who have arrived in our countries, but it should not come at the expense of communities in the world’s poorest countries.
Part of the purpose of today’s Council Meeting is to launch a ‘New Consensus on Development Cooperation’ as part of the EU’s role in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
“EU leaders have time and time again promised to reach the 0.7% benchmark, which has been one of their key promises to finance development in the future. A few countries have, but the vast majority has not, and many well-performing nations have recently cut their aid spending. There is also little sign that developing countries are front and centre of deciding how that aid is spent. The EU has previously signed agreements to ensure developing countries’ ownership when programming aid as this is vital to ensuring communities’ needs are met.”
“EU leaders must ensure that aid reaches the poorest. Rules currently being discussed at the OECD Development Assistance Committee on the role of the private sector risk even more aid being used to subsidise our own corporations through ‘tied aid’. The majority of EU Member States sit on this committee. They must ensure that they do not allow this to happen.”