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Geldof slams German foreign aid as 'not enough'

DDP/The Local · 11 Nov 2009, 16:27

Published: 11 Nov 2009 16:27 GMT+01:00

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“In our view this budget is not enough, not to uphold the associated German promises,” Geldof told daily Die Welt.

As a representative of the global aid foundation ONE, Geldof met with Niebel to discuss the aid plans of Germany's new ruling coalition of conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and pro-business Free Democrats (FDP). In late October, Niebel said that China and India are too prosperous to be considered “developing nations” and therefore should no longer receive financial aid from Germany.

“Look, I'm Africa-lobbyist,” Geldof told the paper. “If the money is to be redirected, then I say personally – Good, Africa needs the help most. Seventy million for China as an economic power is negligible. In Africa, however, such an amount can help substantially.”

Most Germans agreed with his assessment, he said, citing an October 2009 Emnid poll, which demonstrated that in spite of the crisis, 57 percent of Germans want to uphold aid commitments to the poorest countries.

Geldof also called on the new government to rethink the EU's agricultural subsidy policy, which “destroys markets and distorts competition in Africa. This is in contrast to the CDU and FDP philosophy.”

The activist also said he was pleased that programmes for climate change and poverty reduction would not be in competition for funding.

Story continues below…

“Fortunately, Niebel said clearly that he wants to work with for separate funds for climate change. This is important because the effects of climate change mean additional burdens for the poorest," said Geldof.

Geldof told the paper that he found the FDP's Niebel, who only recently was calling for the German Development Ministry to be abolished, to be “competent,” and added that it was up to him what he achieves in his new post.

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Your comments about this article

17:17 November 11, 2009 by Psypher
Africa needs the help most. Seventy million for China as an economic power is negligible. In Africa, however, such an amount can help substantially.
Oh please!! If this guy had ever been to a sub-Saharan country and actually paid attention to his surroundings, he would know that less than 10% of all "foreign aid" to Africa ends up in the target country, ~40% never leaves the donor country, and the rest ends up in a Swiss bank account belonging to the "African Strong-Man" dictator/despot that runs the country that the money was originally intended for...

I'm sorry, but "foreign aid" is a waste of my 19% Umsatzsteuer!
19:14 November 11, 2009 by victor laslo
But he has been there,certainly after Live Aid he was there more than once,maybe he forgot to take notes.
19:57 November 11, 2009 by Psypher
...or maybe he needs to lay off the black&tans and enroll in a few poli-sci/economics courses.

There's really nothing worse than celebrities (especially Irish musicians) getting involved in geopolitics!!
21:19 November 11, 2009 by Davey-jo
Who cares what this self-appointed pain-in-the-backside thinks? No-one ever voted him into anything; he just rants and relies on his fading celebrity to secure him from being thrown out of the building.
08:55 November 12, 2009 by moistvelvet
The only good point he makes is that the EU should change its agricultural subsidy policy. Sub-Saharan African countries do not need aid, they need trade, fair trade!
11:27 November 12, 2009 by Neutral
We should not consider the motive of the singer or his level of pupularity. We should consider the substance of his words. Germany like other countries has an international commitment to pay 0.7% of gross domestic product as development cooperation. It is about half at the moment. The development aid is not producing any tangigble result, it is true. Doubling the aid is not likely to make any big difference. What is needed is perhaps a paradigm shift in the mechanism delivery in aid. The disparate projects here and there, and expensive overseas visits and hefty salary to German consultants in the name of technical assistance are not doing much justice to the money being spent.
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