Question to: Patricia McKenna
Issue: Europe's role in the world
Question sent by

My question relates to Europe’s Overseas Aid policy.

Would you campaign to ensure that the European Parliament and the European Commission put pressure on Member States to meet their individual aid targets of 0.7% of Gross National Income by 2015?

Given the current economic problems there is a risk that Member States will cut back their overseas aid budget. Failure to meet aid commitments puts the most vulnerable people in the world at risk.

Would you also campaign to ensure that EU overseas aid is transparent and the Accra Agenda for Action is implemented to ensure that aid reaches those people that need it most?

Thank you
Reply from
Patricia McKenna

Dear ,

To briefly answer your question, as an MEP I would indeed support campaigns for Member States to meet their aid targets and for greater aid transparency.

To do this I would work with likeminded MEPs on campaigns that highlight these issues at the European level. I would also work here in Ireland to make sure that our own government is sticking to the pledges it made on aid targets. In a time of crisis it is quite typical for richer countries to renege on earlier promises of aid. We should remember that although we ourselves are going through a crisis, the crisis is affecting the globe and will hit the poorest the hardest. The World Bank has estimated that around 200-400 thousand more children will die each year if the financial crisis continues. 100 million people are expected to fall into extreme poverty this year alone. Aid is needed now more than ever to help those most vulnerable.

As for aid transparency, the governments of both donor countries and those receiving aid should be able to be held accountable for how the money is being used. I believe that citizens should be able to see where their money is going and that it is being used efficiently and effectively to fight poverty. Aid transparency helps to achieve this aim and therefore if elected as an MEP I will endeavour to campaign for greater aid transparency.

All the best,