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Monday, 15 April 2013

European development aid drops 4.3% in 2012

EU member states of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) -  a group of 25  wealthy OECD countries - contribution to international development funds fell by €2.3 billion in 2012 (representing a drop of 4,3% compared to 2011), according to an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report published on 3rd of April.
Thus, in 2012, EU DAC countries - Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, Ireland, Finland, UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Luxemburg-  donated €50.5 billion in official development assistance (ODA), compared to €52.8bn in 2011.
In terms of rate of the gross national income (GNI), EU DAC countries donated 0.39% of GNI to overseas aid, down from 0.42% in 2011. The EU as a collective donated 0.43% of the GNI in 2012, down from 0.45% the year before (€55.1bn in 2012, a fall of €1.1bn in 2011).
This was the second consecutive yearly drop in overseas aid, sparking fears that the EU may fail to meet its 2015 United Nations commitment of allocating 0.7% gross national income (GNI) to aid.
All but two EU countries - Austria (+6.1%) and Luxembourg (+9.8%) - made cuts to their aid budget. Austerity-hit Spain (-49.7%), Italy (-34.7%), Greece (-17%), Portugal (-13.1%) reduced their development aid by more than any other DAC members. Larger European aid donors Germany (-0.7%), France (-1.0%), and the United Kingdom -2.2%) also made small overall reductions to overseas aid.
The OECD and the European Commission blamed the financial crisis and eurozone turmoil for the reduction, as many countries struggled to balance their national budgets.
Out of the 27 EU countries, only Denmark, Luxembourg, Sweden, and the Netherlands had already met the 0.7% GNI target.
DAC countries outside of the EU fared better, with Korea (+17.6%), Australia (+9.1%), and Canada (+4.1%) increasing their aid sizably, due to a scaling up of their aid programmes and an increase in bilaterals grants, in Canada's case.
In total the 25 DAC members donated €97.8 billion in net official development assistance (ODA), a 4% reduction compared to 2011, when it dropped by 2%. This amounted to 0.29% of their combined gross national income.
The EU remained the world’s largest aid donor, providing more than half of the OECD's ODA.
Earlier this year, European ministers have agreed to pledge €58.7 billion for external aid from the EU budget over the 2014-2020 period, compared to the €70 billion initially proposed by the Commission.

In 2005, EU member states pledged to increase Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015 and included an interim target of 0.56% ODA/GNI by 2010.These were based on individual targets of 0.7% ODA/GNI for the EU 15 and 0.33% GNI for the 12 Member States which joined the EU in 2004 and 2007, according to the European Commission.

Source: Euractiv