Ahead of the EU-Africa Summit next week Conservative MEPs have called today for the private sector to take a leading role in the EU's development policy.
The UN's Sustainable Development Goals face a funding gap of $2.5 trillion despite the $1.4 trillion already spent globally on foreign aid. Conservative MEPs believe that by using public money to leverage private investment, this funding gap could be reduced and the strain on the taxpayer reduced.
Conservative Development spokesman Nirj Deva MEP said: "We need to empower people to lift themselves out of poverty. Aid alone cannot do this and taxpayers cannot afford fill the funding gap needed to reach the UN's development goals when our own schools, hospitals and infrastructure require investment. Instead, we must use public money to leverage private investment if we are to reduce poverty."
This new approach was adopted recently and the new European Fund for Sustainable Development will guarantee public-private partnerships. Applications for the first grants will be opened at the EU-Africa Summit next week.
Mr. Deva added: "I am pleased that our work promoting the potential of public-private partnerships has paid off. Ahead of the EU-Africa Summit next week we've been looking at how private sector and financial markets can play an important role in development."
The ECR Policy Group for Wealth Creation today met Michael Laudau, whose company CTI Africa is empowering local communities through public-private partnerships.
Speaking at the policy discussion today, ECR co-Chairman Syed Kamall MEP said: "I am proud the ECR has been championing an ambitious approach to development policy at both the international and national levels, that has the potential to unlock billions of private capital to reduce poverty in developing countries."
"Aid isn't enough to end poverty and risks fostering a culture of dependency rather than innovation, business and empowered communities. Policymakers, development specialists, politicians and NGOs increasingly recognise that we must work with the private sector if we are to help the remaining 767 million people out of extreme poverty ."