Development cooperation with Latin America
Report on defining a new development cooperation with Latin America
This non-legislative report by Ricardo CORTÈS LASTRA (S&D, ES) was written for and adopted by the Committee on Development. It concerns the EU’s presence in Latin America and its aim of reducing poverty and improving human rights and living conditions.
The EU is the principal donor of development aid, the principal investor and the second trading partner in the region of Latin America. During 2012 the region experienced an increase in economic growth of 4.5% despite the economic crisis. However, there are fears that this is not necessarily a sign of continued immunity from the overall world economic problem. When it is considered that the region hosts 180 million people who live below the poverty threshold and includes ten countries which are among the fifteen countries with the greatest inequality in the world, the current constrained global economic condition poses a much greater threat.
The author of the report believes that reinforcing the EU’s presence in Latin America could provide a new impetus towards a way out of the crisis for the EU. The author of the report believes in the necessity of a redirection of the EU’s development aid policy. It is remarked that the next Development Co-operation Instrument, or DCI, must bring “added value”.
For example, 20% of the aid must continue to be directed to education, training and heath sectors. The report suggests that the quantity of aid needs to be increased, as does the quality of the instrument in terms of aiding better distribution of income, improving social cohesion and supporting knowledge and innovation.
Combating poverty is at the heart of the DCI. In order to achieve this, the report realises combating inequality and exclusion are vital. It is noted that ethnic minorities and women are among the biggest groups affected. For example, nearly 5 million people in Ecuador live in poverty (36%) – nearly 2 million of which are women living in extreme poverty, meaning that they are able to eat only once a day. 70% of Ecuadorian women between the ages of 15 and 44 are victims of domestic violence. Extreme violence against women has become so rife in particular regions that it has even coined its own term – “Feminicide”.
Latin America is among the most violent regions in the world, with an average of 25 murders per 100,000 inhabitants annually. The new DCI should grant priority not only to this fight against violence, but also to the new strategy against corruption and strengthening corporate social responsibility.
The report states that the new programming of the DCI should continue to fight against climate change, particularly emphasising the need for conservation of biodiversity and fighting against deforestation, as these are crucial matters for the sustainable development of the region.
Finally, the report points out the importance of fully involving national authorities and civil society in the definition and monitoring of these programmes.
The European Parliament voted to approve the report on the 12th June 2012 with 640 for, 17 against and 33 abstentions.
To read the report click here
Alternatively visit the website at www.europarl.europa.eu
Last Updated (Wednesday, 20 June 2012 08:01)