Labour MEPs back 0.7% overseas aid target for all EU countries

Labour MEPs voted today for the EU and national governments to recommit to the target of 0.7 per cent of national income for overseas aid. The vote is timed ahead of a meeting of EU ministers next week in Brussels, who will decide on an EU position for a major international conference on financing for development in Addis Ababa in July.

The resolution calls for aid to be prioritised for basic social services for all and ‘public goods’, such as primary education, social safety nets and healthcare; infrastructure for sanitation, water supply and energy; and strengthening the resources available to promote equality between women and men, women’s rights and women’s empowerment.

It also calls on national governments to actively crack down on tax havens, tax evasion and illicit financial flows.

Linda McAvan MEP, chair of the European Parliament development committee, said:

“Labour has led the way for a progressive development policy to tackle poverty and inequality across the world. The Labour Party’s efforts led to a UK law to commit 0.7% of national income (GNI) to Official Development Assistance (ODA).

“Now is the time for other governments to commit, and for a strong new agenda to mobilise a range of finance to make the new Sustainable Development goals a reality and end extreme poverty by 2030.

“Labour’s efforts led to the 0.7% target becoming UK law. Our efforts in the European Parliament are pushing for an EU-wide commitment that will be essential to tackle global poverty in the years to come.”