A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Freeze of anti-poverty aid in long-term budget pushes EU off track
Reacting to the conclusion of the European Council on the EU long-term budget, which is freezing EU anti-poverty aid at near current levels, Natalia Alonso, Head of Oxfam's EU Office, said:
“The freezing of the EU’s anti-poverty aid is a breach of faith. The promise to give 0.7 per cent of national income by 2015 to the poorest is off track. EU leaders, like all other countries, should be held accountable for their commitments."
“The consensus reached today could have potentially negative consequences on the ability to achieve global anti-poverty goals, especially in Africa. It comes short of what’s needed to tackle pressing global issues, from sustainable development and increasing disasters, to food security and social justice. It will undoubtedly also impact negatively on the ambitions of Europe as a global player.”
"We however welcome the agreement made by EU leaders to commit 20 per cent of all EU spending to climate action. We urge them to ensure that this commitment is translated into a substantial scale-up of climate finance to support communities facing the continued impacts of climate change.”
Notes to Editors:
- In June 2012, European leaders reaffirmed the commitment made in 2005 to set the target of spending 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on overseas aid by 2015, with 50% of all aid increases to Africa.
- The figures are based on draft conclusions seen by Oxfam. Further analysis will be done once the final conclusions are available. According to the draft, EU aid is increased by an average 2% compared with the last EU budget but the EDF, with its special anti-poverty focus, is frozen. Compared to the EC proposal that aimed to put the EU on track towards the 0.7% commitment, humanitarian and development aid is cut by 15%.
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