he 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, 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.
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, said Amy Dodd, Director of UK Aid Network
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.
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.