Foreign aid budget cut by half due to austerity drive

Government slashes into funds for developing countries

It is always the weakest link of the chain that breaks first, and the poor make up the weakest link. Spain’s foreign aid has plummeted to nearly half of what it was before the economic crisis. From 4.5 billion euros in 2010 (or 0.43 percent of GDP), financial help for developing countries is now short of 2.4 billion (0.23 percent of GDP). These figures are reflected in the Annual International Cooperation Plan, which the secretary general for development aid, Gonzalo Robles, presented yesterday in Congress.

“The gravity of the impact of the global and euro-zone crisis on our country, and the fiscal discipline required from our membership in this zone, has resulted in important cuts that substantially affected the official development aid budgets,” reads the report.

The Council of Development Aid, a group comprising government and NGO representatives, expressed its “concern at this new drop in aid, which comes on top of the 2011 decrease, making Spain the OECD Development Assistance Committee donor whose contribution has sustained the deepest cut in the last two years.”

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