Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for nternational Development Cooperation, and its Newsletter.
Brussels, 26 June 2007: While overall aid is increasing, the EU is marginalising health and education in its aid programmes for Africa. Of the 23 billion Euro available between now and 2013, hardly any priority is given to social sector spending, which rests at the heart of the Millennium Development Goals.
The report, The EU’s contribution to the Millennium Development Goals Halfway to 2015: Mid-term Review, shows that targets to allocate 20% of all EU aid to basic health and education will not be met. In fact, looking at the bigger picture the proportion of EU aid to basic education fell from 4% in 2000 to just 2.7% in 2005. And in Africa the situation seems particularly bad. Since 2001, the European Parliament has systematically included the targets to increase allocations to the Millennium Development Goals. The report concludes that despite its promises to the Parliament, the European Commission has no policy to reach the targets by 2009. The research shows that only two out of 61 EU programmes with the countries of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific cite health as a priority. Moreover, this is actually a decrease on the previous period. In terms of the fight against HIV&AIDS almost no activity has been identified, and education is a priority in just five out of the 61 programmes.
Alliance2015 President Vagn Berthelsen concludes: ‘The EU is not putting into practice its strong commitment to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. It is all too clear that Africa in particular needs a lot of support if it is to achieve these goals. We cannot achieve the Millennium Development Goals unless we invest in teachers and health workers. When it comes to eradicating poverty, the European Commission should set an example for the European Union as a whole.’ … (full text).