News / Asia

Report: EU Policies Hurting Efforts to Reduce Poverty in Developing Nations

In Busan, members from Save The Children and World Vision stage a demonstration urging donor countries to fulfill their aid commitments.
In Busan, members from Save The Children and World Vision stage a demonstration urging donor countries to fulfill their aid commitments.
Lisa Bryant

As international officials gather for a key aid meeting in South Korea, relief groups fault the world's biggest donor, the European Union, for policies they claim hurt some of the poorest nations.

A new report claims the European Union's policies on agriculture, trade, energy and migration can hurt African and other poor nations, and work against the EU's own aid objectives.

Blandine Bounioul is policy coordinator for Concord, a Brussels-based confederation of aid agencies that released the study. "In some areas…there are major issues, and with these policies the EU is actually worsening the poverty situation or the human rights situation in some developing nations," she said.

A case in point, Bounioul says, are subsidies for European farmers under the bloc's Common Agricultural Policy. "Local farmers in Africa, they cannot compete with European products which, because of the subsidies that European farmers can have, those products end up being sold to African consumers at far lower prices than the local food products."

European Commission spokeswoman for development Catherine Ray says the EU is taking the report seriously. But she described key reforms in recent years, including axing many agricultural subsidies. The EU is also a leading importer of agricultural products from developing nations, even as it promotes self-sufficiency.

"It's obviously important that these countries are able to export in our markets. But traveling in Africa, what we see is before they are able to export, they have to be able to produce for their own community, for their country. And then to come at the global level," she said.

The concerns raised by the Concord study will likely be taken up at an aid summit in South Korea this week. The goal is to make development assistance more effective.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke with VOA's Victor Beattie about reforming the way aid is given.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair told VOA that is more important than ever, as donor nations struggle to balance their international aid commitments with domestic economic concerns.

"It’s a tough challenge for governments to maintain those now, and as you rightly said, how that aid is then used is a big part of whether you get the public consent to carry on giving it. And that’s why I think this conference is very timely because it is focusing specially on aid effectiveness. In other words, how do we make sure that for every dollar we’re spending we’re getting something out of it," he said.

The EU invests about $71 billion in development programs, making it the world's biggest donor. Despite stagnant growth and the eurozone crisis, Catherine Ray says EU nations are generally making progress in meeting their pledge to earmark 0.7 percent of their income for development assistance by 2015.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid