EU aid in €36billion funding gap ahead of 2015 UN targets

(Brussels, 17/10/2013) European aid to poor countries is stalling two years ahead of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals deadline, with aid cut or stagnant in 19 member states reveals the new Concord AidWatch report published today on the International Day for Poverty Eradication. The report looks at the quality and quantity of EU aid, with analysis showing that the funding gap to reach the UN target stands at €36billion.

Full data on EU members states aid quality and quantity: 

European aid going backwards, despite unique role

The EU-27 countries delivered €50.6 billion or 0.39% of EU’s gross national income in aid in 2012, a 4% drop compared to previous year. EU aid has fallen to its lowest levels since 2007 with AidWatch projections showing that total aid is expected to remain almost stagnant at approximately 0.43% of 2013-2014.

Wiske Jult from the Belgian national platform 11.11.11 said:

“Effective aid plays a unique role and European countries should not shy away from their role in tackling global poverty. Some countries such as Belgium however are making development aid their prime budget cuts, despite talking up global development on the international stage at the United Nations. These double standards send the wrong message to developing countries.”

See: 10 reasons why aid is irreplaceable

EU countries that buck the trend

This report shows that several countries have substantially increased their aid, the largest relative increases being in Latvia (17%), Luxembourg (14%), Poland (14%), Austria (8%), Lithuania (8%) and the United Kingdom (7%). Those already reaching the 0.7% target are Denmark (0.8%), Luxembourg (1%) and Sweden (0.99%), and in 2013 the UK will join them, at 0.7%.

Inflated aid not reaching developing countries

€5.6 billion of EU aid was inflated and never reached developing countries, bringing genuine aid down to €45 billion or 0.35% of GNI.

Natalia Alonso, Head of Oxfam’s EU Office, said:

“Genuine aid has to reach those who need it the most rather than being used to pay off interest on debt. Playing petty politics with aid commitments means that fewer children will go to school, access to health care will become more difficult and millions will go to sleep hungry at night. EU countries must not regard their promises as expendable, but rather a sound investment for the future.”

Notes to editors

  1. CONCORD monitors European aid levels through AidWatch and compares official EU aid figures with the genuine amount of aid going to developing countries. For more information visit: or
  2. The commitments: In 2005, the EU15 committed to give 0.51% of GNI at least by 2010 (with an average of 0.56%) and 0.7% by 2015. The 12 New member States committed to give 0.17% of GNI as aid by 2010 and 0.33% by 2015.
  3. Concord AidWatch recognize so called "genuine aid" which is firmly focused on the eradication of poverty and  improvong the lives of  poor people in the developing countries.
  4. CONCORD AidWatch definition of inflated aid: Official aid figures include debt cancellation and student and refugee costs in donor countries, interest on loans and tied aid. These are ODA reportable items which do not amount to a real transfer of resources to developing countries and are difficult to link to clear development results.
  5. Only seven EU Member States have a full strategy in place for implementing Busan commitments.
  6. The report is being launched on 17 October, to coincide with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, an annual event- recognized by the UN- which was first celebrated on 17 October 1987 and is now commemorated the world over, which aims to raise awareness for those still living in poverty, and promote means to create a more just world for all.

Contact information

Angela Corbalan, EU Media & Communications Officer, Oxfam
Tel +32 (0) 2 234 11 15, Mob + 32 (0) 473 56 22 60,
Twitter @AngelaCorbalan, Skype angelacorbalan

Daniel Puglisi, CONCORD Communications Officer,