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Eu Development Assistance (Sixteenth Report of Session 2010-12 - Report, Together With Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence)

Eu Development Assistance (Sixteenth Report of Session 2010-12 - Report, Together With Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence)

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The UK spends approximately GBP1.23 billion each year on aid through the European Union, approximately 16% of the UK's total aid budget. Only 46% of this aid, however, goes to low income countries - a figure that MPs say is 'unacceptable'. Instead middle income countries bordering Europe are benefiting. Turkey has consistently been in the top five recipients of European Commission aid (223 million euros in 2010) as has Serbia (euros 218 million in 2010). The Committee is calling on the UK Government to press for funding to be diverted, away from higher middle income countries bordering Europe, to give greater help to the poorest people in the world. In order to make this happen, the MPs say Ministers must challenge and change the definition of Official Development Assistance (ODA). It appears to be being used as a way of fudging the figures to help other European countries meet the target for 0.7% of GDP to be given as aid. The Committee recognises that there are a number of advantages to giving aid through the EU but identifies a number of problems with the way EU Development Assistance works. Overall, the European Commission has improved its performance over the last decade and has recently proposed further improvements to development policy in An Agenda for Change. The Committee supports a number of these proposed changes, but it does have concerns that conditionality should not hurt the poor for the sins of their governments