European Union commits €53billion aid a year, make it count say NGOs



•         The EU gives $53billion a year to developing countries as aid, this makes it the world’s largest donor. That’s over 50% of global aid.

•         $4billion could be saved per year by the EU if it implements better aid reforms, shows its own calculations.

•         84% of Europeans support development aid, despite the financial crisis said a survey on 23 November.

•         62% of European citizens are in favour of increasing development aid to at least 0.7% of EU Gross National Income by 2015.


Yet despite Europe’s global contribution to aid and its citizens support, NGOs express concern that the EU is going into Busan with weaker ambitions compared to the strong leadership it showed in 2008 at the last summit of its kind in Accra, Ghana.

“The EU has a positive role to play in supporting more effective aid policies. But we are disappointed to see that greater aid transparency is being blocked by certain EU countries.” says CONCORD President Justin Kilcullen.

The EU agreed on its common position for Busan on 14 November in Brussels.

“Unfortunately the position misses out on supporting new measures recognised for improving the impact of aid such as untying aid, local procurement and conditionality. These measures get aid funds to the local economy in developing countries and put them in the driving seat of their own development,” adds Wiske Jult, representative of Belgian NGO platform 11.11.11 and CONCORD AidWatch member.

Busan sees the international community at a crossroads, with a real chance to support poor countries tackle poverty and end aid dependency.

“We came with high expectations of a new era of aid, but on the eve of the High Level Forum, we risk a weak agreement which represents hardly any progress from 3 years ago. This is largely due to lack of political commitment in the OECD countries, who need to wake up to the demands of the partner countries and CSOs in the days to come,” says Bimal Phunyal, ActionAid Director and spokesperson from Nepal.

For CONCORD it is essential that the Busan summit realizes that for development to be effective, any new agenda must take into account policy coherence for development. Civil society organisations (CSOs) from around the world are participants at the Busan summit, the first time they have equal footing with governments and donors. CONCORD is a member of both BetterAid and the Open Forum for CSO development effectiveness who are mobilizing CSOs at HLF4.

For more information or interviews with Lucia Fry in Busan please contact Asha Tharoor at

For Africa, Contact, Sulah Nuwamanya on

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