Edition 1453
09 December 2017
Edition: 1453

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter

‘More aid money, projects’ in 2018 thanks to EU funding

by TPN/ Lusa, in Business · 30-11-2017 13:59:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s secretary of state for foreign affairs, Teresa Ribeiro, said on Tuesday that the country’s aid and development programmes will have “much more money available” and “many more operations” next year, thanks to more access to and better use of European Union funds.

‘More aid money, projects’ in 2018 thanks to EU funding

She also stressed that aid programmes “are negotiated” with the authorities in countries where they are implemented and respond “to the aspirations” of those countries.
“We’re going to have much more money available for cooperation, which we will get from European Union funds,” Ribeiro told Lusa News Agency. “While we have many more cooperation operations, we’re not necessarily counting them for the effect of public aid to development.”
The secretary of state was commenting on a report by non-governmental organisations working in development, titled ‘AidWatch Portugal 2017 – Portuguese Cooperation at the start of the post-2015 era’ - the date being a reference to when the current EU budget period began. The report is being presented to parliament on Tuesday.
EU funds, Ribeiro explained, are not counted as national public aid, because the state already contributes to the European Development Fund: “We give 50 and we get 100, but we don’t count [as national public aid] the new 50.”
Portugal’s spending on aid and development has in the past two years been at its lowest ever level, and below the target set by its own government, according to the NGOs’ report. In addition, more than half of aid is “linked to Portugal’s economic interests”, it alleged, arguing for the need to “humanise” development policy, shifting the emphasis from the economic.
Ribeiro, however, in her comments to Lusa, rejected that idea.
“Cooperation programmes are instruments to help countries attain their objectives,” she said.
She stressed that Portugal’s policy in this field is developed within the Agenda 2030 framework – the sustainable development measures laid down by the United Nations - while individual “programmes are negotiated with the receiving countries” and so “have to take account of ... the aspirations of those same countries.”
That, she said, includes as well as education and institutional capacity-building, “investment, of having an economy that functions, that creates jobs and which creates prosperity for the citizens”.
Ribeiro added that in 2016 Portugal’s development budget swelled by around 10 percent, to €310 million.
The country is committed to earmarking the equivalent of 0.7 percent of its gross domestic product to development funding, but in 2015 and 2016 the figures were 0.16 percent and 0.17 percent respectively.
“The government maintains the objective of moving in the direction” of the 0.7 percent target, Ribeiro said, without indicating a date when that would be achieved.

Comments

Be the first to comment on this article

Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.


Please enter the letters as they are
shown in the image.
Letters are not case-sensitive.
Edition 1453
09 December 2017
Edition: 1453

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter