Belgium is the least generous country for development aid according to 11.11.11 | local

According to the annual report of the French-speaking organization CNCD-11.11.11, Belgium is the “least generous” country in northwestern Europe in terms of development aid.

In 2022, Belgium invested €313 million more in development aid than the previous year, representing a seven percent increase (taking inflation into account). However, this is a small increase. In 2021, Belgium invested 0.44 percent of gross national income in countries in need of aid, compared to 0.45 percent last year. The Vivaldi government’s goal is to reach seven percent of that by 2030.

“All our neighbors were more generous than us,” Secretary-General Arnaud Zachary stressed. France granted 0.56 percent, the Netherlands 0.67 percent, Germany 0.83 percent, and Luxembourg 1 percent.

Unlike neighboring countries, Brussels and Wallonia did not count the costs of foreign students and the costs of hosting Ukrainian refugees, but Flanders did. But even with these costs added, Belgium ends up lower than the rest.

Furthermore, 12% of the amount appears to have been “fake aid.” These funds are considered development aid according to OECD standards, even if they do not fund projects in partner countries.

Belgium planned to use at least half of its development aid to least developed countries, but that ultimately amounted to only 31.5 percent, or 0.14 percent of gross national income, last year. However, a minimum of 0.15 percent has been agreed with other countries.

However, the report notes with satisfaction that “Belgium, unlike Sweden or the United Kingdom, has not transferred funds originally intended for other countries to Ukraine.”

With three months remaining in the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union, the NGO is sounding the alarm. In the first half of 2024, the CNCD-11.11.11 wants to reach an agreement on a “binding chapter on sustainable development, accompanied by sanctions.”

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Denton Watson

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