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EU: Undermining development aid by backing landgrabbers?

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Concerns have been raised in the European Parliament that the EU development aid budget is financing harmful private sector investments. During Parliamentary Questions in Brussels on 31 March 2015, MEP Roberta Metsola (of Malta) raised a question about EU financial support for the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a programme aiming to improve food security in 10 African target countries by encouraging large-scale private-sector investment in agriculture. Metsola observed that smallholder farmers in various countries have been forced off their land by large agri-business projects supported by the New Alliance. Metsola asked whether the Commission was involved in any oversight of the New Alliance to ensure that it does not undermine the EU’s other development objectives.

In advance of the G7’s next summit in June 2015, 95 civil society organisations (CSOs) from across the world issued a joint statement, calling on the G8 to scrap the New Alliance. If the EU and national governments wish to promote food security and genuine, sustainable economic development, they must follow an approach that places smallholders at the heart of food production and decision-making.

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