The European Union should not lose sight of its commitments to and aspirations for the Agenda 2030

AidWatch Report 2019, published by Concord, paints a bleak picture of the trends of official development assistance by the European Union and its member states. For the second year running, the combined level of ODA decreased, pushing the commonly agreed spending target of 0.7 % gross national income on aid even further to 2061.

The EU and its member states do get few brownie points for continuing to be the largest block of donors in the world, but that is not enough. Reduction of poverty and inequality should be at the core of the EU’s development cooperation, but the share of aid that we manage to direct to countries that most need it, is less than 10%. The marginal increase in support to least development countries by 0,01% barely brightens up this fact.

Furthermore, the support to civil society is stagnating at best, and investment in gender equality is not reaching the targets either. As gender equality and active and free civil society are both building blocks of a sustainable society, and play a crucial role in reducing inequalities, we must reinforce our efforts in promoting them.

Aid Watch Report 2019 seem to be asking quite rightly, how well we are actually managing on leaving no-one behind. The EU and all the member states should not lose sight of our commitments to, and aspirations for, a sustainable, fair and equal future for everyone within and beyond the borders of Europe.