European government cuts to international development aid have started to reverse.
(Brussels, Paris, 08/04/2014) European government cuts to international development aid have started to reverse for the first time in two 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, finds that 11 European countries (members of the OECD DAC) have increased or maintained their aid levels since last year.
“Aid austerity is starting to reverse across Europe, despite two years of substantial cuts that are still felt by some of the world’s poorest. Many development projects have been stopped or abandoned as a consequence.” says Seamus Jeffreson, CONCORD Director.
UK aid in biggest real terms increase
“We’re proud that the UK has met the historic promise to devote 0.7% of GNI to overseas development aid. This relatively small amount of money – £11 billion out of the UK’s overall £730 billionbudget – is life-saving and life-changing support for poor, marginalised and vulnerable people around the world”, says Amy Dodd, Coordinator of the UK Aid Network, and Chair of CONCORD AidWatch
One year to 2015 UN deadline and little progress on horizon
“With just one year to go the end of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, EU aid is still off track to reach the 0.7% aid target. We urge the EU and its member states to review the current state of the 0.7% target during the upcoming meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in May and consequently during the European Council Meeting in June”, says Zuzana Sladkova, AidWatch Coordinator of CONCORD.
Governments trying to change aid’s definition
The official definition of aid is currently under discussion at the OECD. Current debates suggest that government want to report loans and risk-mitigating financial instruments (such as financial guarantees) as aid. This trend could raise countries aid figures without any budgetary effort, but has no impact on the poor people of the partner countries.
Notes to editors
1. CONCORD monitors European aid levels through AidWatch and compares official EU aid figures with the genuine amount of aid going to developing countries. For more information visit: http://concordeurope.org
2. Next week from the 15-16 April aid experts and governments will meet at the First High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation where donors, partner countries, emerging donors, civil society and private sector will discuss the progress made since Busan aid forum and the future of the Global Partnership.
3. ODA from the 19 EU countries that are OECD DAC members was USD 70.7 billion, a rise of 5.2% in real terms from 2012, and 0.42% of their combined GNI.
Media contacts: Daniel Puglisi, CONCORD Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 0032 27438777
Zuzana Sladkova, CONCORD AidWatch Coordinator, email@example.com, Tel: 0032 27438772