Europe to double aid to $80b a year

The Guardian

London, May 25:

European Union ministers last night surprised and delighted aid agencies when they agreed on a dramatic increase in help to developing countries that will see the EU’s rich 15 member states reach the UN’ historic goal of giving 0.7 per cent of national income in aid by 2015.

The move, which came just six weeks ahead of the G8 industrial nations’ summit at Gleneagles, will mean a virtual doubling of the EU’s combined aid by 2010, when the rich 15 all pass the 0.51 per cent mark.

The treasury said last night that if all states meet yesterday’s pledges and some go beyond them, as they plan to do, EU collective aid will rise from $40 billion this year to $80 billion in 2010. But the deal’s potential significance lies in its impact on other countries.