Last week the European Union announced it was giving €499 million in aid to one of Africa’s poorest countries, the Republic of Benin. With 40% of the population living below the poverty line, 65% lacking access to clean drinking water and one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world, there are few countries more deserving of our help. Unfortunately for Benin, the EU is ignoring these issues completely and spending the overwhelming majority of the grant on green energy.
Of the €499 million, €450 million will be spent on “promoting renewable energies and energy efficiency” over the next seven years. Despite the staggeringly short supply of clean drinking water in Benin, a mere €19 million is being spent on improving drinking water. Clearly the bureaucrats of Brussels are more concerned with fighting climate change than they are ending poverty.
This is by no means the only example of the EU wasting foreign aid. In July Get Britain Out exposed the Eurocrats’ pocketing £340 million from the European Development fund. Only a week ago the EU pledged to spend €339 million on 21 developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Again a stunning €129 million is earmarked for promoting sustainable and renewable energy and dealing with climate change.
This brings the total amount of money pledged for foreign aid last week to €838 million – with €579 million being spent on energy and climate change. As Britain contributes 13% to EU funds, £87.5 million of the €838 million will come directly from the British taxpayer.
With the EU lavishing such a colossal sum on promoting renewable energy, whilst dressing it up as foreign aid, it is becoming increasingly clear Brussels cannot be trusted with member states’ aid budgets. The EU would rather the poverty-stricken of the Third World die of thirst than well-off citizens use the ‘wrong’ light bulb. If we want to ensure the funds levied off the backs of the British taxpayer is going to the people who need it most, we must Get Britain Out of the EU.