Europe about to make critical choices for Development

20/04/2011 at 11:39 am 3 comments

Aid volumes

In April, the OECD published the final figures on rich countries’ development aid programmes. They showed that, despite the economic crisis, the world’s richest countries spent $ 128 billion on Official Development Assistance (ODA). And it confirmed that the EU countries are the biggest donors.

But the figures also showed that the EU missed its own targets on aid:

The OECD’s figures showed that Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Sweden and the UK had all met their targets for 2010. But poor progress by major European economies, France, Germany and Italy meant the bloc’s collective targets were not met.

Aid Objectives

At the same time, European leaders are trying to move the goal posts on aid. The recent EU Green Paper makes the case that aid, rather than on social services, should focus on promoting economic development.

CONCORD, the European NGO Confederation for relief and development, believes that for growth to be beneficial for human development, it has to be sustainable and inclusive, addressing inequalities with a special emphasis on reaching the poor and marginalised and vulnerable groups. It says that pro-poor growth is based on decent job creation, functioning health systems able to deliver universal and quality care, universal access to education, a productive agriculture, and democratic governance. CONCORD argues that economic growth “should be seen as an instrument, not a goal, of development. It must form part of every development strategy”

The future of European cooperation

But it is probably fair to say that what occupies the minds of EU leaders most is how they are going to finance the future of the EU itself: the “Financial Perspectives” are the negotiations about the EU’s overall budget.

The current agreement, under which just over 1% of European GNI (1.048%) is spent through the EU’s institutions, dates from 2006 and comes to an end in 2013.

The economic crisis means that EU member countries are unlikely to want to increase their membership fees. In fact, countries like Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands have already insisted that any increase cannot exceed inflation.

That means that any new European initiatives to tackle unemployment, climate change or energy dependence will have to come from the existing budget, and will need a reshuffling of priorities – in particular the Common Agricultural Policy and the Structural Funds, which together account for four-fifth of the EU’s budget.

The Lisbon Treaty made development cooperation a distinct EU policy area, with its own, explicit objectives. In the current Financial Perspectives (2007-2013), this policy area sits in the “Europe As A Global Partner” envelope, which accounts for some 6% of the total.

And that budget is likely to come under pressure as negotiations start in earnest this summer.

Time for NGOs to start pointing out that the EU aid budget is a cheap way for EU members to attain their aid promises. The OECD, which in April showed so clearly that Europe failed to honour its promise in this area, does count EU aid as part of member countries’ ODA contribution.

So an increase in EU overseas aid can help many EU countries reach the targets they set for themselves. Isn’t European cooperation wonderful?

———————

The EU Green Paper: EU development policy in support of inclusive growth and sustainable development – Increasing the impact of EU development policy is available here

Entry filed under: EU, Overseas aid. Tags: , .

Irish NGOs and SPHERE standards for humanitarian aid Learning from the Netherlands

3 Comments Add your own

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 208 other followers

Archives

Dóchas on Twitter

The World's Best News - images

#NigeriaDecides.

Despite the threats from the extremist group Boko Haram, this weekend 60 million people voted to shape the future of Nigeria.

At The World's Best News, we like elections. Have a read of these 3 stories:

Africa and democracy:
http://worldsbestnews.tumblr.com/post/102036767325/nothing-ever-changes-have-a-look-at-these

India: http://worldsbestnews.tumblr.com/post/85901866700/the-biggest-elections-on-earth-this-years

Mobile app mobilises voters in Nigeria: 
http://worldsbestnews.tumblr.com/post/90836673125/using-technology-to-bolster-democracy

Photo: AFP Do you remember the movie Slumdog Millionaire?

It made #Mumbai's Dharavi district, one of the world's largest #slums, famous the world over.

The group Slum Gods are proud of their area, but it needs a new image - and they will #dance and #rap to make sure it gets one. 
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/nov/28/slumgods-mumbai-hip-hop-dharavi

Photo: Akash and Sagar of the SlumGods. Photograph: Benita Fernando The small Central American country of #CostaRica is meeting its energy needs without burning fossil fuels.

Thanks to some heavy rainfall this year, Costa Rica’s #hydropower plants alone are generating nearly enough electricity to power the entire country. With a boost from geothermal, solar, and #windenergy sources, the country doesn’t need an ounce of coal or petroleum to keep the lights on.

Read more: http://qz.com/367985/costa-rica-is-now-running-completely-on-renewable-energy/ How Ethiopia managed to supply water to 48 million people:

In 1990, only 6.9 million Ethiopians drank water from a tap or hand pump, rather than from an open stream. However, in the last 25 years #Ethiopia has managed to supply #water to 55 million people (10x the entire population of #Ireland!) The key to this success has been a combination of strong government leadership and persistent donor investment.

Read more: http://blogs.unicef.org/2015/03/23/how-ethiopia-managed-to-supply-water-to-48-million-people/

Photo: The Ebo clean water project benefits 27, 000 people in seven villages including 15,000 school children, with clean water in their school and households. Young girls now can attend school regularly without spending more time looking for water. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2015/Bizuwerk Poor countries carry the biggest burden.

New data from the #UNHCR shows which countries shoulder the biggest economic burden of #refugees and displaced people, when compared to their national income.

Read more at http://www.unhcr.org/54ac24226.html Musicians urge ‘big picture’ thinking. 
A conflict is brewing among the 11 nations of the Nile basin as the downstream countries (Egypt and Sudan, which are almost completely reliant on the river for water and power) accuse upstream countries of taking more than their fair share.

The Cairo-based Nile Project brings together artists from the countries that touch the river — #Egypt, #Sudan, South Sudan, #Ethiopia, #Eritrea, #Uganda, #Kenya, #Rwanda, #Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo - to demonstrate the need for cross-border cooperation and to encourage people in Nile nations to think of themselves as more of a unified entity.

Read more: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/3/19/Nile-Project-water.html?utm_content=bylines&utm_campaign=ajam&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=SocialFlow With an 'on again, off again' school life that was at risk of being stopped by lack of school fees, Esther Madudu almost missed her dream to be a midwife. 
Thankfully, eleven years and more than two thousand babies later, Esther is a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize 2015.

Read more at https://europa.eu/eyd2015/en/austria/posts/esther-madudus-interview

#Uganda
#Kampala
#midwife
#NobelPeacePrize Thailand tests floating homes in region grappling with floods. "We can try to build walls to keep the water out, but that might not be a sustainable permanent solution. It’s better not to fight nature, but to work with nature, and amphibious architecture is one answer." Read more: http://www.trust.org/item/20150305000156-r6las/?source=fiInDepth

#Thailand  #floods  #prevention  #preparedness  #architecture Sri Lanka develops cheap device to forecast rainfall 
Scientists in #SriLanka have developed mobile weather stations capable of capturing and transmitting near real-time rainfall data.

The devices are based on open-source technology and rely on local materials — at US$250, they are far cheaper than standard, WHO-certified versions that can cost upwards of US$10,000.

Read more at
http://www.scidev.net/south-asia/agriculture/news/sri-lanka-develops-cheap-device-to-forecast-rainfall.html

#weather #rain #forecast #opensource #weatherstations #local #technology A giant rat is man's best friend.

In #Tanzania these large rodents have been trained to sniff out #landmines - It takes the oft-maligned animals 20 minutes to scour an area that would take a team of people with metal detectors five days to check.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/video/2015/mar/05/landmines-giant-rats-save-lives-tanzania-video?CMP=share_btn_link

http://gu.com/p/46b4n/sbl A comparison of life expectancy in 1800, in 1950 and today
shows the huge improvements in human life expectancy.

Have a look at these interactive graphs, and be prepared to be amazed!

http://ourworldindata.org/VisualHistoryOf/Health.html#/life-expectancy-Countries-around-the-world-longrun-until-today - A comparison of #lifeexpectancy in 1800, in 1950 and today
shows the huge improvements in human life expectancy.

Have a look at these interactive #graphs, and be prepared to be amazed!

http://ourworldindata.org/VisualHistoryOf/Health.html#/life-expectancy-Countries-around-the-world-longrun-until-today -

Visitors Map

Map

Dóchas Photos

1506_77

1506_76

More Photos

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 208 other followers

%d bloggers like this: