U.K. Department for International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell urged EU nations to stick with their aid commitments despite the financial crisis.
“Five years ago EU nations made a promise to the world’s poor to work towards spending 0.7% of our income to help ensure people have access to the basics they need to survive such as water, health services and food,” Mitchell said in a press statement. “EU countries are important partners in the fight against poverty and need to show global leadership by meeting this pledge.
The U.K. is on track to meeting the spending goal, but the EU in general is in danger of falling short of its collective target.
EU development ministers met on June 14 and vowed to fulfill its pledge to poor countries by 2015. However, they failed to endorse specific measures to achieve this, Earth Times reports.
A detailed 12-point proposal on how to reach targets was designed in April, calling for binding national aid plans among other provisions.
EU states welcome the commission plan, but stress that “this issue [of meeting aid targets] falls within the competence of member states.”
Foreign ministers’ silence on how to achieve the 2015 target raised questions from aid groups. Among these organizations is Oxfam, which has expressed dismay over the lack of specific and concrete proposals.
“Oxfam welcomes these good intentions, but warns that these principles will have to be translated into actions if they are to make a difference,” the organization said in a statement.