European Union leaders are reportedly close to a deal on the bloc’s long term budget that would see deep cuts to the proposed funding levels for development aid to the world’s poorest.
Responding to the draft figures, Eloise Todd, Brussels Director of ONE said:
“EU leaders have repeatedly promised to spend 0.7 percent of Europe’s income on smart aid, but they are far from reaching that goal. The European Commission’s proposed budget for aid to the world’s poorest could see millions more children given access to vaccinations, primary education and clean drinking water, in other words, the chance of a better start in life. In these last critical hours of summit negotiations leaders must have the courage to stand up for the world’s poorest.”
Notes to editors:
- In 2005, the European Council set the target of spending 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on overseas aid by 2015, with 50% of all aid increases to Africa. European leaders have reaffirmed this commitment on several occasions since, most recently at the European Council summit in June 2012.
- The European Commission proposal for long term EU spending covering the period 2014-2020 includes €51bn for development aid to the world’s poorest as well as humanitarian aid. This consists of €21bn from the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) as part of the €70bn ‘Heading 4’ of the budget (‘EU as a global player’) and €30bn from the European Development Fund (EDF). Technically the EDF is a separate fund, outside of the main budget. But the level of spending for the EDF will be agreed as part of the overall MFF negotiations.
- A report published last November by the Overseas Development Institute, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and ONE, shows that EU aid would more than pay for itself by 2020.
- 85% of EU citizens believe that Europe should continue helping developing countries despite the economic crisis according to the findings of a survey published on 16 October.
- More than 172,000 people have signed a ONE petition calling on EU leaders to protect aid spending.
- The positive results and effectiveness of EU aid have been cited by many independent reports. The UK government’s Multilateral Aid Review, published by DFID in March 2011, rated the European Development Fund, the key EU aid instrument, as “critical to UK development objectives”. Other reviews by respected institutions including the Center for Global Development and Brookings Institution, and the OECD have also ranked EU aid highly. Publish What You Fund’s 2012 Aid Transparency Index ranked the European Commission’s DG Development and Cooperation (DG DEVCO) 5th out of 72 aid organisations across 43 indicators.
ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organisation backed by more than 3 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. For more information please visit www.ONE.org
For further information or to arrange an interview with Eloise Todd please contact Dudley Curtis on +32 485 379945 or [email protected]