The European Union

The European Union (comprising the European Commission and the 27 Member States) provides over half (59%) of the world’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), some €46 billion.

The EU gives around €9 billion a year in aid to developing countries, of which the UK contributes around €1.4 billion (around a fifth of the UK's development aid).

Of this €9 billion, €3 billion of aid is provided to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, to which the UK contributes around €400 million. This money is managed by the European Commission through the European Development Fund (EDF).

The EU gives €6 billion a year to countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America, of which €1 billion (16 per cent) is from the UK. This is managed by the European Commission through its main budget.

DFID ministers take part in decisions on how EU money is used. The European Commission spends the money on long term development projects and immediate help for people affected by humanitarian emergencies around the world.

In 2008, the EU agreed specific targets for aid in its Agenda for Action. The EU’s principles on aid delivery are set out in the European Consensus on Development.


Last updated: 09 Nov 2009