Monday, April 18, 2011

Dance lessons in Africa, jets for tyrants, derelict offices... how EU wastes aid billions - 18th Apr 2011

Billions of taxpayers’ cash is being spent on spurious aid projects through the EU, including giving dance lessons to Africans who earn less than 70p a day.

Britons pay £1.4billion towards the EU’s £10billion aid budget, but much of the money is going to corrupt regimes or projects where no checks are made that it is properly spent.

Meanwhile, relatively wealthy Turkey is the EU’s main recipient of aid, raking in £500million a year.

The EU’s Court of Auditors has criticised Brussels for failing to measure the impact of the aid. It said the EU commission randomly selected projects without assessing a country’s needs, and corrupt regimes were getting vast handouts just by filling out paperwork.

In Burkina Faso, where half the population earn less than 70p a day, Belgian instructors are teaching people how to dance through the ‘I Dance Therefore I Am’ project. Organisers say: ‘If its music moves, Africa will also move.’

The EU has given £8.8million to an immigration advisory centre in Mali, which tells people how to find jobs in Europe. The centre has found work for six people in three years.

A medical store built through aid funds in Sierra Leone, to house pharmacists and distribute free drugs, has been left derelict and is used as a urinal.

Hard-line regimes are also getting EU taxpayer funds, allowing their governments to be propped up. Read More