This is a guest blog post from Andrea Ghianda, our media manager in Brussels.
In September, the world agreed to the most ambitious set of Global Goals to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. And right now, the EU is busy negotiating its budget for next year, which includes lifesaving aid programmes. This is the first opportunity for the EU to put its money where its mouth is and set the path towards achieving those Goals.
And yet, that aid budget is now under attack. Read on to find out how you can stop this.
Stakes are high
The EU is in the process of negotiating its budget for next year. That includes less than €9 billion of proposed spending on external spending including development programmes.
The European Parliament has just called for a top up of the EU external action funding, in particular to respond to the migration crisis.
But EU Member States are trying to bring down that number. They have suggested cuts to the proposed EU budget, with a third of the proposed cuts coming from the EU’s external action. Even though the EU’s external action funds account for only 6% of the budget.
In other words, these proposed cuts are disproportional and unjustified. They put the future of the poorest in jeopardy.
How just €0,05 a day can save lives
Five Euro cents a day for each EU citizen; that’s how much the European Commission plans to spend on aid for the poorest people in the world. It might not sound like much, but it really can make a difference.
Over the last 10 years, EU aid has helped immunise 20 million babies against measles, connected more than 74 million people to safe drinking water and made sure that 13.7 million kids went to primary school.
We could keep this amazing progress going for less than 5 cents a day for every citizen. It is these very funds which are currently in danger.
What needs to happen
As the European Parliament, the European Commission and the EU Member States begin negotiating on the final budget in the coming weeks, funding in support of the most vulnerable people must be protected.
These negotiations come just a few weeks after world leaders agreed on 17 Global Goals that would end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change in the next 15 years.
The last thing we need is a cut to aid budgets in the 2015 European Year for Development – the very year when this ground-breaking new development agenda has been agreed globally.
What can you do?
ONE will be campaigning in the next few weeks to make sure these cuts do not happen. Today a delegation of ONE Youth Ambassadors also went to meet key members of the European Parliament to ask them to protect EU aid!
We will also be distributing a symbolic lottery ticket to EU policy makers and leaders. The idea is to remind them of what EU aid has achieved so far and to compel them to protect aid in the current budget negotiations.
Because saving lives should not be a lottery…