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Fears for Africa as eurozone cuts aid

AID flows from the European Union dropped last year for the first time in almost a decade as the eurozone crisis led 14 countries to cut financial assistance, anti-poverty group ONE said in a report.

The aid drop jeopardises the chances of some African economies to dispense with external assistance in the not too distant future, said the group co-founded by U2's Bono.

Overall aid from the 27 members of the EU fell 1.5pc in 2011 to ¤50.86bn, the first drop since 2002, according to the report.

Fourteen EU members registered a decline. Greece and Spain, both struggling to reduce gaping budget deficits, slashed aid.

Germany and Italy increased their programmes, but, as with the EU as a whole, were still far short of meeting their aid commitments, ONE said.

"Huge cuts in aid from Greece and Spain are not unexpected in this time of turmoil, but the poor record further across the board is worrying," said Adrian Lovett, ONE's executive director for Europe.

The advocacy group calculated that the EU would need to increase its official development assistance by ¤42.9bn between now and 2015 to meet its targets.

For Africa, cuts in aid programmes could postpone the day when countries can stand on their own feet.