Germany's international development aid should be dramatically increased and respect for human rights should be a legal criteria for receiving aid, according to a study published by two leading aid agencies.
Two leading humanitarian organizations criticized the German government on Tuesday for lacking a comprehensive development aid policy.
Emergency aid organizations terre des hommes and Welthungerhilfe said in an analysis published Tuesday that Germany is also increasingly using credit for development rather than aid, increasing the debt burden of the recipient countries.
"The Reality of Development Aid," released annually since 1993, praised the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development for making a country's respect for human rights a criteria for aid.
"Development aid policy, however, should be made more concrete in order to ensure that human rights take precedence in cases of conflicting goals with other areas of foreign policy, like trade, agriculture, economics and security," the study said.
In addition, the report said the government should place more emphasis on international cooperation, suggesting that Berlin lobby at the UN environmental summit in Rio de Janeiro in June for the creation of a new global body that would coordinate development aid policies of various countries.
The development ministry's budget for 2012 is approximately 6.4 billion euros ($8.4 billion), a 164-million-euro increase from the year before. Just over half of that amount is earmarked for bilateral aid to foreign governments, while the rest goes to various non-governmental organizations and international bodies like the UN, EU and IMF.
Welthungerhilfe and terre des hommes called for a two-billion-euro increase in the development budget, and for the German government to lobby for a financial transaction tax to increase revenue.
acb/ccp (epd, dapd)