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AidWatch 2011: Challenging Self-Interest

The AidWatch report of 2011 confirms that EU member states are off-track to meet their aid quantity and aid effectiveness commitments, and are increasingly prioritising self-interested aid policies that are reflecting their own immediate security, migration and commercial interests.

5/20/2011 Publisher: Penny Davies

EU donors must refocus

When reading the report it comes clear that EU donors must refocus and take the necessary steps to deliver on their international commitments towards partner countries.

OECD: A gap of nearly €15 billion between committment and reality

On aid quantity pledges, figures by the OECD show that the EU has fallen far short of its collective 0.56 percent goal for 2010, with the gap amounting to nearly €15 billion.

Overall, EU aid represented 0.43 percent of GNI in 2010. The bloc is now clearly off-target to reach 0.7 percent of GNI by 2015.

€5.2 billion of inflated aid in 2010

Estimates show that EU member states reported approximately €5.2 billion of inflated aid in 2010 (debt cancellation, spending on student and refugee costs in donor countries). This is equivalent to almost 10 percent of the total aid provided to partner countries last year. €2.5 billion of this amount is debt cancellation, roughly €1.6 billion are student costs and about €1.1 billion are spent on refugees in donor countries.

Key areas for progress

This year’s report highlights particularly democratic ownership, aid transparency and gender as key areas where progress by the EU will be crucial.

To ensure aid is more effective, EU donors mustengage and better support Parliaments and CSO's, particularly in their role to hold governments to account; end all economic policy conditions; provide more transparent and better information on aid activities; and implementing the EU Gender Action Plan by providing the needed financial and human resources.