Right now, EU leaders are negotiating the next long-term EU budget, including how much they will invest in ending poverty by 2030. This budget will end only 3 years before the deadline to achieve the end of extreme poverty, which is the first of the Sustainable Development Goals. The decisions EU leaders make today will affect the futures of millions of people.
Every 7 years, the EU decides on its long-term priorities and budget allocations. Negotiations for the next budget (2021-2027) have just started and we want to make sure that ending extreme poverty by 2030 is a core priority of the EU, supported by the right investments.
We know that if the EU scales up our investments, we can make a difference to eradicate poverty by the deadline and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. But, if we don’t and remain complacent, poverty, hunger, preventable diseases will continue to prevail in the poorest regions of the world, in particular in Africa.
Today, the EU is a global player, in particular, because it is, with its Member States, the biggest contributor of aid in the world.
EU aid ensures millions of children go to school, get access to vital medicines, and supports equal opportunities for women and girls. But, the EU won’t be able to help end extreme poverty if it doesn’t increase development aid in line with their commitments. Not only is the funding urgently needed to get more girls into schools, provide vaccines for children etc., but the EU also needs to lead by example, encouraging others to step up to the challenge. EU leaders need to be aware of the great opportunity and great responsibility resting with them in the fight against extreme poverty. And we intend to remind them about it!
It’s urgent they hear us, as what is currently on the table is clearly not enough for the EU to meet its objective. To do so, the EU needs to invest more in aid, in particular in funds to education, health and gender equality.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the risk of a child dying before the age of 5 is 16x higher than a child born in a high-income country and this is often only because of poor nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa again, women are a 92x more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than women living in high-income countries. For every girl out of school in Europe, there are 27 out-of-school girls in Africa. We know that we can contribute to putting an end to this scandal.