#PlanInternational: External aid budget crucial to end extreme poverty

| November 7, 2016 | 0 Comments

plan-international-logoThe European Parliament has once again shown its support for the fight to end extreme poverty, when voting on the EU’s budget for 2017. MEPs rejected the member states’ proposed cuts and suggested an increase of almost half a billion euros to external spending – a move welcomed by ONE, Oxfam and Plan International.

The coalition of development organizations are calling for the EU member states to reverse their proposed cuts to external spending and increase aid beyond the budget ceiling if the EU is to meet its commitment to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Commenting on the overall amount of external spending proposed,Tamira Gunzburg, Brussels Director at The ONE Campaign, said: “ONE welcomes the European Parliament’s call for additional funding to EU external spending. The European Commission has also recently proposed additional funding for new initiatives such as the external investment plan. While the Parliament and Commission show that the budget’s ceilings must urgently be increased, they still do not cover all of the EU’s new commitments made since the refugee crisis. Existing development aid meant for eradicating extreme poverty remains at risk of being diverted. In the upcoming negotiations, EU member states must now also get with the times and mobilize sufficient funding beyond the outdated ceilings. Only this way can the EU both address the refugee crisis and continue working toward its promise to end extreme poverty by 2030.”

Alexandra Makaroff, Plan International’s EU Representative, added: “The Parliament has once again supported a strong EU external aid budget, and member states must follow this example by reversing the cuts they have proposed to development and humanitarian aid budget lines. The EU can’t meet its existing commitments to tackling poverty and supporting sustainable development in the world’s poorest countries otherwise. As these negotiations proceed, it’s crucial to preserve not only the amount of aid but also its purpose. EU development cooperation must have, at its core, poverty eradication. It is not, and must not become, a security and migration management tool.”

Natalia Alonso, Oxfam International Deputy Director for Advocacy and Campaigns, said: “We call on the European Parliament to ensure that additional funds for external action in the 2017 budget are spent for addressing the root causes of displacement, and not on border control. We have already witnessed cases where the EU and its member states risk dropping their commitment to a foreign and development policy that defends universal values – especially human rights. The Parliament and member states must make sure the EU does not engage in a short-sighted scheme aimed at convincing and coercing third countries to stop migration.”

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Category: A Frontpage, Economy, EU, Oxfam, World

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