As part of the "Neqirdu l-Faqar! Stop Poverty! Day" to be held around the world on the 7th July, The Stop Poverty Malta Campaign Group, which is made up of 40 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has appealed to the Maltese Government to show stronger commitment to the world’s poor in terms of Overseas Development Aid.
The appeal was made by representatives from different organizations represented in Stopoverty/Neqirdu l-Faqar before the parliament on Wednesday.
The Stopoverty Campaign appealed to the Maltese Government to
• Improve transparency in reporting ODA figures, providing detailed reports of expenditure and of aid beneficiaries;
• Issue an Official Development Policy as promised.
• Stop imposing conditions regarding repatriation of migrants when giving aid.
The Stop Poverty Campaign (Malta) said
“According to CONCORD –the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development made up of over 1,600 NGOs, several European governments shall not keep their aid promises to poor countries by 2010 unless they radically increase their provision of genuine aid resources. The EU targets for 2010 is for each member-state to spend 0.17 per cent GNI in aid.”.
“According to the European Commission’s April 2007 figures, Malta spent EUR7 million or 0.15 per cent of GNI on ODA in 2006 – less than what it contributed in 2004, when it spent 0.18 per cent in ODA”.
“Apparently, what is reported under Malta’s ODA seems to be primarily spent on migrants during their first year in Malta, and on repatriating migrants. While we recognise that this is a cost on Maltese resources and that supporting refugees is vital, we agree with CONCORD this cannot be considered to be Overseas Development Aid, unlike development assistance which is used directly to help alleviate poverty in poor countries”.
“The Government of Malta should improve its transparency in reporting ODA figures, by providing detailed reports of expenditure and of aid beneficiaries”.
“Stop Poverty is also appealing to the Maltese Government to withdraw its insistence that Maltese aid should to be conditional on the acceptance of the repatriation of migrants. Repatriation of migrants is not related to alleviation of poverty”.
“Stop Poverty appeals to the Maltese Government to move towards dialogue with poor countries and NGOs and to call for global structural changes towards more global equality. Though a small country, Malta can surely have a better say in the quest for the attainment of the United Nations’ Millenium Development Goals, namely: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; Achieve universal primary education; Promote gender equality and empower women; Reduce Child Mortality; Improve maternal health; Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; Ensure Environmental Sustainability; Build a global partnership for development”.
In the meantime a Concert will be organized by Zizza Ensemble in collaboration with The Stopoverty Malta next Saturday 7 July at the Sliema Surfside from 8.30pm onwords. The aim behind this concert is to raise awareness on poverty issues and raise money in aid of a project in Ethiopia. Zizza Ensamble, Access-To, The Deap Blue Project Band and DJ Bob will perform on the night.
NEQIRDU L-FAQAR! STOPOVERTY! Malta is made up of the following NGOs:
Moviment Graffitti, Zminijietna, Koperattiva Kummerc Gust, Kopin (Koperazzjoni Internazzjonali), National Platform of Maltese NGDOs, Kunsill Studenti Universitarji, Moviment Kattoliku Studenti Universitarji, Amnesty International Malta Group, Ananda Marga Yoga Society, Centru Animazzjoni Missjunarju, Dar Nazareth,Diocesan Peace and Justice Commission, EAPN Malta, Fondazzjoni Ceratonia, Friends of the Earth, General Workers Union, Grupp Katina Zaghzugha – Gudja, I.D.E.A.L. International (Malta), Inizjamed, Integra Foundation,Jesuit Community – Birkirkara, Justice and Peace Group (Augustinian Malta Province), Kare4Kenya,Mission Fund, Moviment Era Gdida, Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses Malta Union of Teachers, PULSE , Salesian Youth Centre – Sliema, SHARE Foundation,St Aloysius' College, Suret il-Bniedem, Third World Group, University Chaplaincy, University Student Teachers' Association (Malta), YMCA, Youth for Palermo, Zaghzagh Azzjoni Kattolika, Zghazagh Haddiema Nsara.