More than 50% of the aid that Britain gives via the EU goes to relatively rich countries like Turkey
The UK’s International Development Committee has revealed that less than half, only 46% of the £1.23 billion that Britain gives in aid via the European Union (EU), is going to low income states (poor countries). MPs, who warned the government that too much of EU development aid is going to "relatively rich" states, described the figure as "unacceptable".
As a consequence the committee has urged the government to challenge the EU's definition of official development assistance (ODA) the criteria it uses to define which countries are eligible for aid. Malcolm Bruce, Chair of the committee, said the ODA "appears to be being used as a way of fudging the figures to help other European countries meet the target for 0.7% of GDP to be given as aid. The government should be bolder and less risk averse by tackling the criteria for ODA so that more funding goes to the world's poorest people and the poorest countries, and less to the European neighbourhood. Giving aid to relatively rich countries like Turkey could devalue the concept of aid." (politics.co.uk)
Although he agreed with the Committee’s recommendation, and that more focus should be placed on poorer countries, Andrew Mitchell, Minister for International Development, said “it would take forever and be difficult" to exclude richer countries from the ODA. The Committee, who did praise the EU development aid programme for encouraging countries to spend more on aid, were dismayed to find that two of the largest recipients of EU aid have been Turkey and Serbia which are both ranked as highly developed by the UN Human Development index.
Last Updated (Friday, 29 June 2012 09:43)