Brussels, 26/10/2016 – The European Union has again failed to meet its commitment to spend 0.7% of Gross National Income on Development Aid by 2015. The CONCORD Aidwatch report 2016 published today, entitled ‘This is not enough’, reveals that only five countries met their 2015 targets: Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom. This means there is a ‘debt’ of €36.9billion in 2015 between what the EU has promised to developing countries and what it has delivered.
Amy Dodd, Director of UK Aid Network said, “EU aid makes a real difference in peoples’ lives by supporting crucial services like better education, better healthcare and resilience to climate change – all investments that help people and countries on the road out of poverty and to a more equal and sustainable future. The new aid target the EU set itself to reach the 0.7% target by 2030 is too long and too uncertain to deliver the financing needed to end global poverty by 2030. Those investments in vital social sectors are at risk alongside the even more ambitious Agenda 2030 commitments in the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Seamus Jeffreson, CONCORD Director said “Europe’s leaders must stick to the 0.7% commitment and ensure that it is high quality, effective aid. This means stopping inflating aid with spending that has dubious development impacts such as in donor country spending on things like student costs, debt relief, interest repayments and tied aid. This is particularly true when it comes to refugee costs – an area where EU Member States have a moral duty to do their part but without diverting aid budgets. Continued support for a strong civil society in the developing world to oversee aid spend with transparency and accountability is also crucial to Agenda 2030 and ensuring that aid is high impact, real value for money and effective.”
The CONCORD Aidwatch report provides a country-by-country analysis of Member State and European Commission aid spend and reveals that in 2015, some 17% of total EU aid for sustainable development was instead spent on in donor costs such as debt relief, student costs, interest payments, tied aid and refugees.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2016 AIDWATCH REPORT.
EU AID SPEND.
EU development aid has a tremendously positive impact on people’s lives around the world. In 2014, the European Commission financed, among others, healthcare for more than 1 million pregnant women, school places for 30 million children in the developing world and 13 million hectares (about the size of New York) have been protected from environmental devastation.
Full figures on:
Please see Member State government websites for national aid impact.
EU AID CASE STUDIES.
- HEALTH FOR ALL
Mental health problems are widespread in Afghanistan. A survey conducted in 2004, the last available, found 68% of respondents suffering from depression, 72% from anxiety and 42% from post-traumatic stress disorders. Malalay, aged 16, found her way to the Kabul Mental Health Hospital, the only tertiary health facility addressing Mental Health problems in the whole country. There she met with a psychosocial counsellor and a psychotherapist. They are both women. Having female medical staff has greatly improved the possibility for women to seek care in a country where culture still prevents many from seeing a male doctor.
- EDUCATION FOR ALL
Owen is six years old, with huge laughing eyes. Clutching a colourful notebook in his hands, he tells us that he’s the luckiest child in the world. Finally he is going to school. Not long ago, there was no school in his village, Itenda, with the closest one located 20 kilometres away. The programme of school building in remote parts of Zambia is run by the European Union. Schools are trying to effect a profound change in rural and remote communities in Zambia. It’s not just an education in counting and reading; it’s an education in daily hygiene, and daily respect for human rights. The donors provide the tools. The villagers take care of the rest.
- CLIMATE RESILIENCE
Carmen, 23, lives in Huancayo region, Peru. Like many small farmers, her family suffers from the effects of climate change: scarcity of water resources, rising temperatures, increased frequency of freeze and drought episodes. Through a project lead by CARE to adapt farming practices to climate change, Carmen and her family replaced their corn and wheat crops with native varieties. These crops are more resilient to climatic vagaries, need two to three times less water and are more nutritious. They are also more expensive on markets. « Quinoa, for instance, is easy. We do not use chemical fertilizers, just guano, manure or humus. We do not use insecticides, everything is natural. It is better for our health, » says Carmen.