Basque NGOs denounce cutbacks in regional government’s support for international aid projects

Photo: Coordinadora de ONGs de Euskadi
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• Federation of 80 non-governmental agencies rallies in Vitoria

• Groups say 2015 gov’t commitment falls far short of agreed funding

A federation of more than 80 non-governmental organizations in Spain’s Basque Country working in the area of international development aid has criticized the regional parliament for having failed to meet historic levels of financial support for international aid efforts agreed in 2014.

The Coordinadora de ONGs de Euskadi rallied in Vitoria on Wednesday Dec. 2nd to protest the paraliment’s failure to budget 0.7 percent of the Basque regional budget for international aid projects, as outlined in the General Guidelines for the Basque Agency for Cooperation and Development 2014-07, subscribed by the regional parliament in April 2014.

According to the organization, with the backing of the Basque Socialist party (PSE-PSOE) the regional parliament has voted to budget 43 million euros for international aid support in 2016, representing just 0.39 percent of the Basque development agency’s total budget and far short of the 50 million euros cited in the agreed-upon 2014 guidelines.

The Coordinadora de ONGs called on the regional government to reconsider the cutbacks and match the commitment level agreed to in consultation with locally based non-governmental agencies in 2014.

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