The EU’s foreign aid budget faces its biggest cut in history — €10 billion ($13 billion) between 2014 and 2020. Anti-poverty advocates are concerned, and in a conversation with Devex, Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach revealed that he shares their concern.
Those aid cuts, which have been floated by negotiators in Brussels, would be “detrimental” to Europe and should be abandoned, Friis Bach told Devex President Raj Kumar in a video-taped conversation at the 2012 European Development Days.
Denmark consistently exceeds the internationally agreed-upon target of allocating 0.7 percent of gross national income to aid spending. Earlier this year, Friis Bach helped found the g07 club, which comprises donor governments that have met or are on their way to meeting that goal.
“We know that Africa will be the fastest-growing continent” in the coming years, Friis Bach said. “Investing in Africa and reducing poverty in Africa is also creating jobs and opportunities in Europe.”
In his conversation with Kumar, the Danish aid minister also highlighted the role of agriculture as a key driver of economic growth and poverty reduction, and touched on plans to launch a global index that will inform actions promoting agricultural development.
An official media partner of EDD12, Devex was in Brussels to talk with the movers and shakers in international development. We video-taped conversations with more than 50 decision makers and thought leaders from the private, nonprofit and public sectors on hot-button issues in humanitarian relief, global health, social responsibility and international development.
Check out our complete coverage of European Development Days 2012.