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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

New figures: EU spent a record €53.8 billion on development aid in 2010

Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs presented the 2010 preliminary figures on official development aid spent by the EU and its 27 Member States. Aid rose by about €4.5 billion from 2009, reaching a total of €53.8 billion, which confirms the EU's position as the largest and most generous donor of official development assistance, providing more than half of global official aid. Although the EU missed its target for 2010, it still made positive progress despite the economic downturn. Three of the five largest donors worldwide are EU members and four of them have already reached the 0.7% target. Overall, EU aid represents 0.43% of EU Gross National Income. A substantial collective effort is still needed in order to achieve the goal of 0.7% by 2015, to which Member States have been committed. […] In 2009, budgetary constraints weighed heavily on aid and many donors, including several EU Member States, decreased their spending on official development assistance (ODA), which resulted in a total of €49 billion or 0.42% of Gross National Income (GNI) for the Union in 2009. In 2010, 17 Member States increased aid volumes again, thus reversing the trend of the previous year. Expressed as a share of GNI and in total terms, 2010 consequently saw the highest amount of ODA ever spent by Europe: €53.8 billion (0.43% of GNI). Still, this falls far short of the commitments made by the EU, which had pledged to achieve 0.56% of GNI collectively for 2010. In absolute terms, EU spending stayed €14.5 billion below this commitment. Ten Member States spent less on ODA than in 2009. The Commission commends the countries that have continued to increase their aid. Three out of the five largest donors worldwide are EU members – France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Sweden, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Denmark have already achieved 0.7% and remain well above this level. Altogether nine Member States were above the minimum targets set for EU Member States for 2010: Luxembourg, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Finland, Ireland and Cyprus.

Source: European Commission