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State fiddles development aid figures

Published on 02/02/2007

2 February 2007

BRUSSELS- The amounts that the federal government claims it devotes to development aid are artificially inflated.

An analysis in Mo magazine indicates that sometimes half of the expenditure reported in the past five years was not actually granted.

Even if this “false aid” is counted in, Belgium is far from being on its way to spending 0.7 percent of its gross national product on development aid by 2010, as it pledged to do.

This percentage even decreased from 0.53 percent in 2005 to 0.48 percent in 2006. The fact that the budget decreased in 2006 is directly at odds with the promises the government has made.

And that’s not the whole story. The amounts that the government claims to spend on development aid are for a good part empty. Especially problematic is debt forgiveness, which accounted for 15 to 41 percent of the aid granted over the past five years.

[Copyright Expatica 2007]

Subject: Belgian news