Letters: European Union's cut to global aid budget is disproportionate

From Aid | The Guardian Thu Nov 22 2012, 21:00:04

David Cameron has said we should not balance our books on the backs of the poorest people on the planet. That logic applies to the EU budget as well as the UK's (Cameron to agree hike in amount UK pays to EU, 21 November).

Budget negotiations have reduced the amounts allocated to aid for 2014-20 by about 10%. This is simply unacceptable, as aid is bearing a disproportionate cut. For example, the common agricultural policy budget would be cut by only 6.5%.

Turning Cameron's rhetoric into reality requires protecting development and humanitarian aid from the real-terms freeze the UK government is proposing for the EU budget. Without this protection, poor countries could miss out on £8bn to tackle poverty and help people hit by natural disasters.

EU aid to the poorest nations is recognised by the government and the OECD as among the most efficient, effective and transparent in the world. In the past five years it paid for more than 10 million children to go to primary school and provided 32 million with clean water.

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