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EU countries divert overseas aid to cover refugee bills

Nov 24, 2015 | News

(24 November 2015) – A report published today by CONCORD, the European NGO confederation for relief and development, documents an emerging trend amongst member states to divert aid budgets from sustainable development to domestic costs associated with hosting refugees and asylum seekers.

Some of the expenditure items EU countries report as aid do not translate into a real transfer of resources to developing countries or, ultimately, to people who are poor and marginalised, the report has found.

This is not the first time that NGOs report that EU monies are increasingly being spent on tackling the refugee crisis and border security, rather than fighting poverty and inequality. But this time the CONCORD AidWatch report contains a lot of data from the OECD CRS dataset. This data is complemented by updated figures provided by national platforms. In some cases, data from the European Commission and Eurostat is also used.

CONCORD says that some EU countries are mis¬reporting some of their official development assistance (ODA) expenses, by including costs which, under existing guidelines, should not have been counted. The reporting of non¬-eligible migration-¬related expenses in Spain and Malta, or the misreporting of refugee costs in Hungary, are amongst the examples cited. (EurActiv)

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