EU legislators want less aid for middle-income countries

A view of the European Parliament chamber where an usher hands out documents before the day's debates. The European Parliament's development community urged the European Commission to negotiate a reduction of aid with middle-income countries. Photo by: Pietro Naj-Oleari / ©European Parliament / CC BY-NC-ND

Some members of the European Parliament are the latest to weigh in on whether donors should scale down their aid to middle-income countries — a contentious topic in today’s changing development landscape.

In a nonbinding resolution adopted on Tuesday (July 10), the European Parliament’s development community urged the European Commission to negotiate a reduction of aid with middle-income countries as part of the bloc’s new development framework.

The committee did recognize that more than 70 percent of the world’s poorest people — known as the new bottom billion — live in middle-income countries and proposed direct engagement with pockets of poverty in these countries.

But ultimately, countries such as India and China that are experiencing significant economic growth should be “more responsible for their own people” especially if they are to continue to receive assistance, Charles Goerens, a member of the committee argued.

To this end, the committee proposed the creation of safeguards that will ensure proper use of assistance specifically allocated for inclusive growth.

This proposal to reduce EU assistance to middle-income countries is not expected to sit well with aid groups and advocates, who argue that such a move could worsen global poverty and complicate, instead of ease, development challenges.

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About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.