EU STRATEGY FOR AFRICA
Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon Hilary
Benn MP, Secretary of State for International Development, Department
for International Development
Thank you for coming to give evidence to Sub-Committee
C on the EU's Strategy for Africa on Tuesday, 29 November 2005.
Following agreement of the Financial Perspective
2007-2013 at the European Council in December 2005 we have a number
of specific questions which we wish to raise concerning the financing
of the Strategy, which were not capable of being answered during
the evidence session. We would be grateful for your detailed answers
to these questions which will assist in our current inquiry into
the implementation of the Strategy.
The Strategy reflects the commitment given by
the EU and its Member States in May 2005 to give as official development
assistance 0.56% of EU GNI by 2010, with half of the additional
20 billion going to Africa, and 0.7% of GNI by 2015 in the
case of 15 Member States, whilst other Member States will strive
to increase their ODA to 0.33% by 2015. We understand that these
increases will be provided through both bilateral and multilateral
resources. However, it remains unclear what proportion will be
provided by Member States directly and what through other international
organisations and institutions, including the EU.
Could you therefore provide a table setting
out the proportion of Member States' ODA which will be provided
through (a) bilateral assistance; (b) the EU (including the EDF);
and (c) other multilateral organisations (such as the World Bank).
We appreciate that no precise figures will be available and ask
only for broad estimates based on previous spending and agreed
future commitments such as the Financial Perspective.
For clarification, could you also provide a
full list of the distinct funds upon which the EU is expected
to draw in its implementation of the Strategy for Africa, along
with (a) the overall amount available in each of those funds for
the last year for which figures are available; and (b) the projected
amounts available under the next Financial Perspective.
Aside from this statistical information, we
ask the following questions arising from the agreement of the
The agreed budget envisages an increase in the
CFSP budget from 2007, and that over the period 2007-2013 that
at least 90% of its overall external assistance should be counted
as official development assistance. What impact will this have
on implementation of the Strategy for Africa?
Cooperation with the ACP countries is to be
allocated 22,682 million in current prices for the period
2008-13 under the existing inter-governmental European Development
Fund framework. Is there any commitment to use this increase on
the funds available in the 9th EDF to specifically support African
countries and projects devised under the Strategy for Africa?
The Strategy seeks to "strengthen the Africa
Peace Facility with substantial, long-term, flexible, sustainable
funding". What progress has been made on agreeing a source
for this funding bearing in mind the serious implications of this
for what the Facility money can ultimately be used to fund?
Finally, how will the various funding strands
of the EU architecture be better coordinated so that they are
both more streamlined for recipients, and so that all essential
initiatives are covered?
12 January 2006
Letter from Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP to the
Thank you for your letter of 12 January seeking
further clarification on the financing of the EU-Africa Strategy.
On your first question, as you suspected, no
precise figures are available at this stage for the breakdown
between bilateral official development assistance (ODA) and contributions
to the various multilateral organisations, where future commitments
have yet to be agreed eg the size and shares of the next replenishment
of IDA. But I can provide your Committee with a table showing
OECD/DAC forecasts of ODA to 2010 and a breakdown of outturn EU
ODA for 2004. Based on current spending patterns and the commitments
which have been made, such as the replenishment of the EDF, the
multilateral share of EU ODA is likely to decline in the future.
In terms of Community funding for Africa, the
main source is the European Development Fund (EDF). In 2004, 2,464
million was spent under the EDF, of which 1,912 million
in sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa also receives funds
from the EC external actions budget, as does north Africa. In
2004, sub-Saharan Africa received 447 million from the budget
and North Africa 558 million.
The precise allocations to sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa
within the 10th EDF and new Financial Perspective will depend
on the outcome of resource allocation decisions to be agreed over
the coming months, but I would expect both to increase significantly
over the level of funding available under the 9th EDF and current
An increase in spending on CFSP will have little
if any impact on spending in Africa. The 90% ODA target will not
necessarily have much impact on the level of assistance going
to Africa specifically, but will mean that expenditure will focus
on development assistance and should be subject to the new European
Consensus on Development, which I think is very positive.
The increase in the size of the 10th EDF over
its predecessor will be reflected in an increase in resources
available to African countries.
Work will soon begin on EDF resource allocation
criteria. I expect this work to maintain the high proportion going
to the poorest countries. Especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The
EDF will be used to support some of the activities identified
in the EU-Africa Strategy; indeed the Austrian Presidency intends
to put forward a draft roadmap to implement the Strategy, which
will set out areas where the EDF will play a major role.
To date, there has not been further progress
on future funding of the Africa Peace Facility. The Austrian presidency
has agreed however to try to bring discussions to a conclusion
now that the Financial Perspectives have been agreed. I will keep
you advised of progress.
On your final point, I agreed that is essential
that the EU improves its coordination and access to assistance
for developing countries. Work is being carried out on harmonisation
and coordination in which the European Commission is playing a
11 February 2006
62 Source European Commission Annual Report 2004. Back