Can we afford development aid after the financial crisis?

Published: 05 December 2010

The financial crisis affected many states in the world so that they will have to start cutting their public spendings. As a consequence - what will be impact of the financial crisis on development aid? This issue was tackled by Meagen BALDWIN, Policy Manager of CONCORD and Roeland SCHOLTALABERS, Media & Communication Officer of CIDSE. "There are different attitudes towards cutting the development aid in industry countries due to the financial crisis. Some of the EU governments like the UK cut of lot of their public expenses, still the government of the UK decided not to cut the expenses for development aid", states SCHOLTALABERS. That means that the UK will keep on spending 0.7% of ther GNI to developing countries. While UK shows its generous face, other EU states like Spain decided to cut their spending on development aid due to their own financial problems. This raises the following question: Why would states still spend millions on development aid if they stuck in their own financial crisis? "Well, if they have money to safe all the banks, than they should still have money left for poor countries as well. But it also makes sense to spend money on development aid in financial crisis for other reasons: First of all rich countries can benefit from a growing economy in developing states because they will be able to act as trading partners and can therefore grow their own economy. If states have a better economic situation, it has been shown in history, that conflicts in these countries are unlikely to happen", so BALDWIN. With other words this means that if we help developing countries to develop their own economy, we will be the driving force for a more secure world.

It will be an interesting question to be addressed on the European Development Days how the EU will handle this tricky situation in the aftermath of the financial crisis.