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Africa | World
Economy - Development

EU countries urged to keep African aid promises

afrol News, 22 April - The European Union (EU)'s development commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, has called on member states to keep to the promise of fighting hunger and poverty in the world and in ensuring that the region remains the leader in helping Africa towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Commissioner Piebalgs further urged member states to draw up annual plans for increasing development aid and using the money more effectively.

"Europe must remain the main and most credible leader in the fight against poverty," he said. "We have to respect our promises of more and better aid."

Presenting the EU recommendations on how countries can meet the development goals, he said such plans should be realistic and verifiable, further reminding that the commission recommends countries submit their new plans before this year's UN summit on development goals, where the world leaders are expected to make new commitments to fighting hunger, poverty and disease at the meeting in September.

The EU is the world's largest aid donor, accounting for more than half of all official development assistance. The EU countries have pledged to increase aid to 0.7 percent of gross income by 2015, but most countries are not on track to meet these goals.

The EU has also pledged to increase aid to Africa more than other development aid in a concerted effort to fight poverty on the continent. Latest statistics by the OECD shows that, while most EU countries are not on track to meet overall aid pledges, aid to Africa is indeed on the increase.

Close to 2 billion people in the world are said to be living in abject poverty, with sub-Saharan Africa said to be one of the regions lagging behind the rest of the world. But despite increased EU aid to Africa, development cooperation is still to little to meet the MDGs in Africa.

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