Portugal increased “only slightly”, by 4.1%, its development aid in 2020, which remains at 0.16% of the Gross National Income (GNI), supervised “far below” the target, according to a report published this Wednesday by Concord.
According to “AidWatch 2021”, from the network of non-governmental associations, “despite the continued pressure from civil society, the Portuguese government has not yet presented a plan to reverse the situation”.
Concord warns Portugal that there is “less than a decade” to reach the target of destining 0.7% of GNI to Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2030.
In general, the network says that the European Union is “very far” from the desired path to achieve this goal.
Taking into account for the first time the Covid-19 pandemic that hit Europe early last year, the report points out that official development assistance rose from 0.42% of the combined GNI of EU member states in 2019 to 0.50% in 2020, but they emerge that “this increase must be seen in the context of an economy contracting due to the pandemic, which automatically increases development aid as a percentage of GNI”.
In fact, the report points out, there is a “significant decrease” in aid in real terms, “as a result of the loss of one of the main donor member states”, the United Kingdom, which left the bloc on February 1st. 2020.
The report specifies that EU GNI decreased by 4.7% in 2020, causing youm increase in the ratio of official development assistance in progress to gross national income, when, “in real terms, ODA recovered from €75.4 billion in 2019 (€58.1 billion without the UK) to €63.9 billion in 2020”.
The document admits, however, that “it is important to note that if the UK contribution to official development aid figures for 2019 is discounted, in 2020 the EU-27 has significantly increased as its expenditures by 5.8 billion euros in real terms, which is encouraging.”
“But as the economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic, GNI has risen once more, threatening the 2020 gains from the 0.7% commitment, unless there are further increases in official development assistance spending. by EU Member States in 2021 and beyond”.
The Concord network therefore invites the EU institutions and the governments of the 27, overcome the constraints caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, to “urgently deal” with the unsatisfactory trajectory towards the goal set for 2030 and to renew its commitment to international cooperation.
Since 2005, Concord has carried out, through “AidWatch”, monitoring the volume and quality of aid from the EU and its Member States to developing countries.