Bono’s anti-poverty group One criticises Dutch African aid cuts

Anti-poverty campaign group One, co-founded by Irish rock star Bono, has criticised the Netherlands for disproportionately cutting aid to some of Africa’s poorest countries, news agency ANP reports.

Dutch help to countries south of the Saharah fell 20% last year, even though the total aid budget was cut by just 7%, ANP quotes the One organisation as saying.

Last year, the Netherlands spent €4.2bn on development aid, down €307m on 2011. But spending on sub-Saharan Africa was cut by €242m to just €989m, the organisation says.

Explanation

‘We would like the Dutch government to explain why more is being cut from projects in Africa than in other regions,’ Eloise Todd, director of One in Brussels is quoted as saying.

‘This is not the time to make savings on help for Africa. Some of the least developed countries in the world are found in this region,’ she said.

Last year, EU countries allocated €48.6bn to development aid projects. The Netherlands is fourth on the list of big givers, behind Britain, Germany and France, ANP said.

However, the government is planning to slash the aid budget by a further €1bn, taking it below the UN target of 0.7% of GDP.

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