07 APR 2011
By Andrew Willis
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The EU has failed to meet a self-imposed development aid goal for 2010, with large member states Germany and Italy well off target.
Both the European Commission and OECD released much-anticipated figures on official development assistance (ODA) on Wednesday (6 April), with the EU giving a record €53.8 billion in 2010.
The figure represents a rise of €4.5 billion on the previous year, but at 0.43 percent of the EU's gross national income (GNI), was below the 0.56 percent target set by EU countries in 2005.
As thousands of refugees continue to flee tough conditions in northern Africa for Europe, EU development commissioner Andris Piebalgs warned that the bloc's current aid levels are ultimately unacceptable, despite the improvement.
"It is obvious that these events [in north Africa] should have a positive impact on the commitments of the Europeans in terms of development aid," Piebalgs said.
"If not, we will face the consequences: permanent instability, military conflicts, war."
Donations from EU governments in 2010 make the bloc the single largest donor in the world, but critics say a longer-term target to give 0.7 percent of GNI by 2015 in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will now be even harder.
Agreed in 2000 by world leaders, the MDGs are a set of development criteria which include the eradication of extreme hunger and improvements in health and education.
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