AidWatch update on European aid levels – main messages

The EU is off-track towards its promised aid targets and many Member States are faltering on their aid commitments.

NGOs are calling for the EU to step up efforts to reach the 2010 interim aid target of 0.56% of GNI.  In order to steer a course towards reaching the UN target of 0.7% by 2015, EU Member States should agree a new collective interim target for 2012 of 0.63% and put in place binding national timetables showing how they will increase aid to reach their targets.

2010 is the year by which EU Member States promised to reach a collective aid level of 0.56% of GNI but, on current trends, it is looking unlikely that this promise will be met without significant efforts to increase aid by European Member States.  The most recent official figures show that in 2008 EU aid stood at only 0.4% of GNI.

Amongst older Member States, Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Portugal are all way off track towards the EU aid targets.  Ireland cut its aid budget by 24% in 2009.

Despite the financial crisis, Belgium, Finland, the UK and Spain are making progress towards reaching their aid targets.

Most newer Member States are off track towards their 0.17% individual target.  Poland’s aid for 2009 looks set to stagnate at around 0.08% of GNI whilst the Czech Republic will have given about 0.13%.  Latvia has cut bilateral aid to almost zero.

European Member States continue to artificially bump up the amount of aid they give by including items such as debt relief, student and refugee costs within their aid figures.  For example, France’s aid for 2009/10 is due to include a large proportion of debt relief and loans.

More and better aid vital in moving towards attainment of the Millenium Development Goals by 2015.

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