European NGOs and foreign aid

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A group of 22 organizations sent a letter dated 10 November 1998 to the German Development Minister, Ms. Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, in order to express their concern over the environmental and social impacts of the European Commission's development aid programme and demanding clear actions from the forthcoming German Presidency of the European Union.

The group quotes as an example of the mismanagement of the Community's aid programme the case of road-building programmes in Cameroon, that has negatively affected the Dja World Heritage Site, one of Africa's most important rainforest conservation areas. Among other points, the NGOs highlight the need to include high environmental and social standards in the EU development assistance programme, and the full consultation and participation of stakeholders –especially local communities- throughout the whole period of each project.

Source: The Rainforest Foundation, 16/11/98.