The Straits Times
Published on Nov 22, 2012

EU Commission head says aid cuts will cost lives


BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - The European Union (EU) should be careful not to cut itself off from the developing world by reducing development aid almost 10 per cent, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday.

"A few thousandths of a percent less for the European Development Fund and humanitarian aid is, for the most vulnerable of the world, a matter of life or death," Mr Barroso said.

The latest EU budget proposal for the bloc's seven-year spending plan calls for a 9.6 billion euro (S$15.1 billion) decrease in aid projects.

It also envisages an 11 per cent cut to the European Development Fund (EDF), used to support low-income countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific, many of them former European colonies.