European development commissioner Louis Michel told European Union nations to follow through on previous pledges to help scale back poverty by half in 2015. Michel warned that the E.U.’s legitimacy as the world’s biggest donor hangs in the balance, pointing out that aid from the member states dipped by USD2.5 billion last year. “We know what we must do: increase our aid spending to meet targets and then make every euro count,” stressed Michel. The bloc is not on track of the global aid target of 0.7 percent of the national income, as 27 E.U. nations only set aside 0.38 percent for development programs last year, as compared to 0.41 percent in 2006. “If we want to remain credible, we have to deliver on our promises,” declared European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso. “We have to be honest and admit that our 2007 aid volume performance is simply not good enough,” he later said.
Source: Europe asked to boost anti-poverty aid (AP)