Irish lead EU in donations to development aid charities
A GREATER percentage of Irish people give money to developing countries than any other EU nationality, new research suggests. However, Europeans as a whole are less willing than they were a year ago to donate to poorer countries.
Some 61 per cent of Irish respondents to a poll by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical arm, said they gave money to an organisation helping developing countries but were not active volunteers.
The Irish were closely followed by the respondents in Sweden, 58 per cent of whom said they gave money to developing countries.
A total of 1,008 Irish respondents were interviewed by pollsters in June. The survey was conducted to gauge the public commitment to development aid in view of the economic crisis.
The research was published yesterday to highlight a United Nations summit in New York next week on the Millennium Development Goals.
“While countries are fighting against soaring unemployment rates and introducing austerity measures in order to restore growth, development aid was expected to be one of the evident scapegoats losing importance when the minds of Europeans are occupied with issues closer to home,” said a commentary with the research.
The research did not suggest that economic turmoil was passing without a trace. While people were more generally aware of the importance of giving aid, “the more concrete question on the acceptable level of EU development aid reveals that, when it comes to money, people are not as willing as they were 12 months ago to pass it to poorer countries”.
Nevertheless, the pollsters said Europeans remained staunch supporters of development aid and continued to back the EU strategy of increasing aid as promised.