Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

25 Dec, 2011

EU Gives €700 Million For Tackling Hunger, Child Mortality, Maternal Health, And Access To Water

Brussels, 21 December 2011 – Today, the European Commission announced additional funding for projects targeting the most off-track Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 36 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. This additional funding will focus on reducing hunger and child mortality and securing better maternal health and drinking water and sanitation facilities. With today’s decision the EU is delivering on its €1 billion MDG initiative, announced in September 2010, at the UN MDGs Summit in New York.

European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, commented: “This additional EU support will make a major contribution to the fight against poverty. In line with our recent proposals for the future EU development policy, the ‘Agenda for Change’, we will invest our money where it is needed most and where we can achieve real results. I am glad that one year after announcing the MDG initiative in New York, we are now ready to finance concrete projects on the ground. Our goal is to do all we can to help developing countries meet the MDGs by 2015, a target to which we are still firmly committed. It remains an uphill struggle, but this is no time for a let up in our efforts”.

Examples of actions to be financed under the MDG initiative include:

  • ensuring better access to food for the poorest households in Haiti
  • providing milk to children in nurseries and primary schools in Rwanda
  • increasing the number of healthcare professionals in Ghana to reduce maternal mortality
  • improving access to save water in Samoa, mainly through rainwater harvesting and better sanitation facilities

The MDG initiative focuses on those African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries that have designed projects of high quality to achieve results in the areas where progress is most needed: hunger, water and sanitation, maternal health and child mortality. Today’s allocation amounts to 700€ million. Project proposals have been identified in partnership with the respective countries and are fully results-oriented: they put clear and measurable indicators in place to secure the benefits of the additional money.

The MDG Initiative

The MDG initiative mobilises money from one of the EU’s main instruments of development aid, the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). It envisages a total extra financial effort of €1 billion. Regarding today’s allocation of €700 million, the European Commission and the EU delegations, in coordination with EU Member States representations and national authorities in the partner countries, will soon start working on the preparation of detailed project designs and specific financing proposals for all the actions to be supported by the MDG initiative, with a view to starting the implementation of most projects by the end of 2012. (For a full list of countries and targeted MDGs, see MEMO/11/930).

In parallel to today’s decision, approximately €300 million of the MDG initiative are in the process of being allocated as a reward to 18 well-performing countries, in the framework of the 10th EDF Mid-term Review.

Progress on the MDGs

The UN Millennium Goals Report 2011 confirms that the world has made significant progress on some of the goals. By 2015, global poverty is currently expected to fall below 15%, which is well below the target of 23%. Increased funding and intensive control efforts have led to a reduction of 20% of global deaths from malaria; HIV infections have been declining steadily and the availability of retroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS has increased massively in recent years. Important steps have been made globally towards providing universal primary education.